President Donald Trump will make his first Hispanic cabinet pick today, selecting Alexander Acosta to be secretary of labor.
Acosta, a former member of the National Labor Relations Board, served as the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush.
He was a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida and formerly clerked for now Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, when Alito was a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit – a part of his resume that will please conservatives on Capitol Hill.
Trump was looking to fill the shoes vacated by fast food CEO Andy Puzder, who dropped out of the running yesterday after abuse claims derailed his nomination.
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President Donald Trump will nominate Alexander Acosta to be secretary of labor, which would be his first Hispanic pick
Alexander Acosta is a veteran of the George W. Bush administration and he clerked for Justice Samuel Alito, which should please conservatives on Capitol Hill
Alexander Acosta was the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush and served as a U.S. attorney in Florida
Bloomberg News reported that Trump met with Acosta at the White House last night.
Acosta is currently the dean of the Florida International University College of Law.
The president will officially nominate Acosta at a 12:30 p.m. EST press conference today at the White House.
Previewing what he'll say, Trump said at a congressional listening session this morning that his labor secretary pick is a 'great person' and a 'star.'
The experienced Acosta will be viewed as a safe pick after Puzder, who would have been a first-time government official, as he's the CEO of CKE restaurants, the company that owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr.
Puzder's confirmation hearings were always going to be bumpy, with Democrats objecting on principle to putting someone in the role who had worked against a minimum wage.
But things were made worse when Puzder admitted that he had hired an illegal immigrant to work in his household for five years.
President Donald Trump's original secretary of labor pick Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE restaurants, pulled his name out of consideration yesterday
Video from the Oprah Winfrey Show became public this week, which showed Andrew Puzder's ex-wife Lisa Fierstein (pictured), in disguise, alleging he abused her while they were married
Andy Puzder, a fast food restaurant executive, withdrew his nomination from the Senate today to become President Donald Trump's secretary of labor
President Donald Trump's (left) initial pick for the job Andy Puzder (right) had too much baggage between domestic abuse allegations and the fact that he hired an illegal maid
Republicans, including the Senate HELP Committee Chair Lamar Alexander, believed he would still have enough GOP votes to get through the confirmation process.
But then, Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network handed over to senators a video of Puzder's ex-wife appearing in disguise on the show, stating that he had abused her.
Lisa Fierstein, his ex, testified that her husband was a public figure and 'vowed revenge' when she took her spousal abuse allegations public.
'He said, "I will see you in the gutter. This will never be over. You will pay for this,"' Fierstein said.
Fierstein has since said she made those allegations to get a leg up in the couple's divorce proceedings, even writing a letter to senators characterizing her ex-husband as a good man.
It was just too much for the nomination, as a dozen or so senators were wavering by the eve of Puzder confirmation hearing, which was supposed to take place today.
'I am honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America's workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity,' Puzder said, thanking Trump for the opportunity and noting that he fully supported the president.