The Senate voted to confirm Alexander Acosta as labor secretary Thursday, elevating the Florida law school dean and former U.S. attorney for Florida’s southern district to fill one of the last of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet-level vacancies.
The 60-38 vote largely fell along party lines, though eight Democrats – including Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana and Catherine Cortez-Masto of Nevada – voted in favor of his confirmation. One independent, Sen. Angus King of Vermont, also voted for Acosta’s confirmation.
Acosta, a Miami native, is the only Hispanic to join Trump’s Cabinet.
“Acosta’s leadership at the Labor Department will serve as a much-needed change from what we saw under the previous administration,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
That’s what bothers critics about Acosta, currently the dean at Florida International University’s law school. He drew the ire of labor unions during his confirmation process and faced controversy over a deal his office approved while he was Miami’s U.S. attorney.