Alexander Acosta has moved a step closer toward being confirmed U.S. Labor secretary after being approved last week by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
The vote to OK Acosta was 12-11, along party lines, with Democrats opposing his nomination. Acosta must now be voted on by the full Senate.
Acosta, former U.S. attorney from Miami, is currently is a law school dean at Florida International University. Democrats have been frustrated – during hearings – about his unwillingness to disclose whether or not he would enforce worker safety regulations such as OSHA’s rule to reduce occupational exposure to silica.
Acosta is President Trump’s second choice for the cabinet post. His first, Andrew Puzder, stepped down amid the controversy surrounding his employment of an illegal immigrant in his household.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Patty Murry (D-Wash.) were among those who questioned whether or not Acosta would go along with Trump’s anti-regulatory agenda at the expense of worker safety.