By Ginger Adams Otis, NY Daily News
President Trump’s pick for labor secretary was confirmed Thursday — squeaking in just under the wire to complete the POTUS’ cabinet before his 100th day in office.
Alex Acosta, the son of Cuban immigrants, will be the nation’s 27th labor secretary after his swearing-in. The Senate voted a 60-38 to confirm his nomination.
He will preside over an agency that covers more than 10 million employers and 125 million workers.
Acosta was the first Hispanic nominee to Trump’s cabinet — and his road forward was far less bumpy than that of Trump’s first choice, fast-food CEO and billionaire Andrew Puzder.
Puzder was criticized for his fast-food companies’ history of labor and wage violations and for hiring an undocumented woman as a housekeeper.
But it may have been the allegations of domestic abuse in his first marriage — claims his ex-wife later disavowed — that did the most damage to his chances.
Puzder was about to go before the initial Senate committee when a number of Republicans indicated he no longer had their support — prompting Puzder’s withdrawal in February.
Organized labor, which had been loudly opposed to Puzder, was far more measured in its reaction to Acosta.
His confirmation Thursday drew little response.
Acosta has a track record of working with some unions from his time on the National Labor Relations Board.
He’s also been a federal prosecutor and a civil rights chief at the Justice Department.
Acosta will arrive at the top post with a relatively clear record on some of the top issues facing the administration, such as whether to expand the pool of American workers eligible for overtime pay.
The labor secretary was the last spot filled in the Trump cabinet — and for the President, approaching his 100th day in office, Acosta’s confirmation couldn’t have come at a better time.
Trump’s choice for U.S. trade representative, a job considered Cabinet-level, is awaiting a Senate vote.
At his Senate confirmation hearings, Acosta refused to answer any policy questions but vowed to be an independent and fair voice for workers.