The United States Senate confirmed today as Secretary of the Department of Labor Hispanic lawyer Alexander Acosta, who became the only Latino member of Donald Trump’s Cabinet.
With 60 votes in favor and 38 against, Acosta was confirmed 98 days after Trump’s arrival at the White House.
Acosta will find over the Bureau of Labor several issues that have been in limbo for more than three months, such as the future of the measure that would extend the payment of overtime to workers with lower wages, now contested in the courts .
The rule approved by the previous government extends from the current $ 23,660 a year to $ 47,476 the minimum wage for which workers are entitled to overtime. Although Acosta was in favor of expanding that number, he said that the new limit could “stress” companies.
Born in Miami, the son of Cuban immigrants and a graduate in law and economics from Harvard University, Acosta was elected in 2003 to become the first Latino to serve as Deputy Attorney General.
He has also served as a federal prosecutor in Florida who has brought to court leading drug cartels in Colombia and renowned politicians in loud corruption cases in South Florida.
Trump announced the nomination of Acosta in February after Andrew Puzder, his first candidate for the post, resigned after numerous criticisms received from Republican and Democratic senators for his controversial business and personal history.
Before Puzder withdrew his candidacy, Trump had armed the first government without Latino members since 1988.
Acosta succeeds two other Hispanics – Thomas Perez and Hilda Solis – who led the Department of Labor during the Barack Obama Administration (2009-2017).
Perez, of Dominican origin and current leader of the Democratic Party, occupied that portfolio between 2013 and 2017, while Solís, daughter of immigrants from Mexico and Nicaragua, took over between 2009 and 2013.