Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Acosta confirmed as Secretary of Labor

On April 27, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Alexander Acosta as the new Secretary of Labor. The Senate passed Acosta’s nomination on a mostly party-line vote of 60 to 38. Eight Democrats and one Independent, Sen. Angus King (I-ME), joined the Republican majority in the confirmation.

Acosta, a former federal prosecutor, civil rights chief at the Justice Department and member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), takes control of an agency that has a number of unresolved issues pending. The two most significant relate to expanding the pool of American workers who are eligible for overtime pay and to protections for people who seek retirement advice.

His nomination followed the withdrawal of the nomination of Andrew Puzder, whose anti-worker background played a key role in preventing him from gathering the support necessary for Senate confirmation.

During Acosta’s confirmation hearing, when asked by Sen. Roberts to give his “overall philosophy on regulation,” Acosta emphasized the need to eliminate regulations “that are not serving a useful purpose.” This position seems to align with that of President Donald Trump, who has been repeatedly vocal about his administration’s desire to roll back regulations.

Questions remain over Acosta’s approach to protecting workers’ rights and safety.

“NALC congratulates Secretary Acosta on his confirmation to lead the Department of Labor and looks forward to working him on issues that affect America’s letter carriers and workers,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We will do everything we can to ensure that workers’ safety and protections are not abandoned.”

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