After nearly nineteen months in confirmation limbo, the man nominated by President Donald Trump to head up OSHA has withdrawn from the process. Scott Mugno, whose two-decades-long tenure at FedEx Ground and Express included six years as vice president of safety, sustainability, and vehicle maintenance, reportedly notified the White House and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta this week that he was moving on to other pursuits.
Trump nominated Mugno to be the Department of Labor’s assistant secretary for occupational safety and health in 2017 and then re-nominated him in January 2019.
Why the delay in confirming Mugno? Although some sources blame partisan gridlock, OSHA observers note that the GOP majority Senate refused recently to vote to approve Mugno’s appointment, despite Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) changing of Senate rules that sharply reduced post-cloture debate time – at least for district judges and non-cabinet-level positions.
Mugno no doubt noticed that the Senate’s confirmation of Cheryl Stanton to be the DOL’s Wage and Hour Administrator, which occurred last month, was speedy.
OSHA has gone without a chief for the entire Trump administration. Some sources believe he was within weeks of being confirmed.