President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of labor, R. Alexander Acosta, passed another hurdle in a 12-11 vote that moves his nomination out of committee for a full Senate vote.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) backed Acosta’s nomination Thursday morning, in a vote that fell strictly down party lines.
To be confirmed, Acosta must receive support from a majority of the Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans. (RELATED: Senate Democrats Defend Obama’s Labor Legacy, Grill Trump’s Labor Pick)
The Senate could vote to confirm Acosta as soon as next week, before Congress breaks for recess, but a busy Senate schedule could push it back even further, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Overshadowed by Russia, Gorsuch and health care, Acosta’s confirmation hearing took place to little fanfare and underwhelming media attention.
The former U.S. attorney and outgoing dean of the Florida International University College of Law, was grilled by Democrats during his hearing March 22, but his nomination has been met with considerably less resistance than Trump’s original selection to lead the Department of Labor, Andy Puzder.
Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, withdrew his name from consideration after Senate Republicans informed the White House that they lacked the votes for confirmation. (RELATED: Anti-Puzder Activists Sent An Anthrax Scare To His Wife)
From Trump’s order to re-examine Obama’s proposed fiduciary rules to his budget proposal, which slashes the Department of Labor’s funding by 21 percent, Democrat Senators tried to glean answers from Acosta.
Acosta, who also served on the National Labor Relations Board under former President George W. Bush, was steadfast in his refusal to dig deep into his personal opinions of the policies and issues the Democrats raised.
If confirmed, Acosta will be the first Hispanic American member of Trump’s cabinet.