President Donald J. Trump moved quickly today to nominate Alexander Acosta to head the Department of Labor.
The move comes one day after restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration. Puzder lost Republican support in the Senate after a series of missteps, including revelations he employed an undocumented worker.
The financial services industry is eager to see a new secretary in place to decide the future of the DOL fiduciary rule.
Acosta is the dean of the Florida International University Law School. The first Latino Trump has picked for his Cabinet, Acosta previously served as a member of the National Labor Relations Board and as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
"I think he’ll be a tremendous Secretary of Labor," Trump said, ticking off Acosta's experience.
The Washington Post reported today that Acosta, who has undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University, does not come with as strong of a record opposing regulation as did Puzder.
In 2010, Acosta advocated that the National Labor Relations Board shift from a “pre-World War II quasi-judicial administrative agency model” to one in which it would issue rules. “Rulemaking is a better, more democratic, more stable, more transparent, and more modern path for quasi-legislative enactments,” he wrote.
The NLRB “should learn from other agencies and it should hire staff experienced with the specific challenges of rulemaking,” Acosta said.
Acosta also serves as chairman of U.S. Century Bank, headquartered in Miami and one of the largest Latino community banks in the country.
The fiduciary rule is set to begin taking effect April 10. With time running out, Trump ordered the DOL to seek to delay the rule while studying its impact on small savers.
The DOL filed a notice to seek a 180-day delay under the signature of Interim Secretary Edward Hugler. Getting a secretary in place will only help the DOL in developing a coordinated overall strategy on the rule.
Once the DOL decides a strategy to refine the rule, or revoke it, the agency will have to undertake an extensive rulemaking process.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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