President Donald Trump named R. Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary on February 16, following the announcement the day before that his original nominee CKE Restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder had withdrawn himself from consideration in the wake of an assortment of scandals.
Acosta, 51, who is currently Dean of Florida International University College of Law and chairman of U.S. Century Bank, holds the distinction of being the first Hispanic Assistant Attorney General, a role he held within the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department during the George W. Bush Administration.
Acosta was also previously a U.S. attorney from the Southern District of Florida and a member of the National Labor Relations Board. During his tenure as the U.S. Attorney with the Southern District of Florida, his office convicted Charles Taylor Jr., the son of Liberia’s former leader of torture.
He also prosecuted terrorism suspect Jose Padilla and lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Acosta, who is known as Alex, received his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University.
Thursday, the Senate also confirmed South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney 51-49 to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget. The vote was largely on party lines with Republican John McCain (Arizona) voting against the confirmation.
The Arizona Senator voted “no” because of Mulvaney’s past history of supporting defense budget cuts and his 2011 vote to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan.
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