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Senate Panel Approves DOL Nominee by Narrow Vote

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Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today voted 12-11 to support the nomination of R. Alexander Acosta to be the next secretary of Labor.

The Republicans on the committee voted for Acosta, and the Democrats voted against him.

The committee voted on the nomination during a private session.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said last week, at a public Senate HELP Committee hearing on the Acosta nomination, that Acosta had dodged her questions about matters such as a Department of Labor overtime pay regulation.

President Donald Trump named Acosta to replace an earlier Labor secretary nominee, Andrew Puzder, who withdrew his name from consideration after coming under fire for concerns about an undocumented household worker he had hired and the treatment of employees at the fast food company he led.

Acosta has been the dean of the Florida International University law school since 2009.

From 2003 through 2009, he worked for the Department of Justice. From 2005 through 2009, while he was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, he set up the department’s first major program to fight fraud against Medicare and other public and private health care payers.

Acosta has a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Harvard.

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