Trump names Alexander Acosta as new pick for Labor

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Alexander Acosta
Alexander Acosta exits U.S. District Court with other attorneys at U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida June 19, 2008. Reuters/Joe Skipper

US President Donald Trump has named his new pick to head the Department of Labor after his first nominee, Andy Puzder, has withdrawn his nomination. Trump’s new bet is no other than Alexander Acosta, a former assistant attorney general for civil rights.

The announcement regarding the president’s new pick was made less than a day after Puzder withdrew from consideration. In an abruptly announced White House press conference, Trump said he believed Acosta will be "a tremendous secretary of labor.” Acosta "has been through Senate confirmation three times, confirmed, did very, very well," Trump said.

Trump has shared that he has just spoken with his new nominee over the phone. "And so Alex, I've wished him the best.  We just spoke,” the president added.

If confirmed, Trump’s newest pick for Labor secretary would be part of his Cabinet with more government experience than many of his other nominees. Acosta serves on the Commission for Hispanic Rights and Responsibilities. Hispanic Business Magazine had listed him as one of most influential Hispanics.

Acosta has also worked for the private sector, serving as the chairman of U.S. Century Bank, a community bank in Florida. He is currently the dean of Florida International University College of Law.

Several Hispanic lawmakers and business groups agree with Trump’s claim that Acosta will be a tremendous secretary of labor. "R. Alexander Acosta is an outstanding choice for this cabinet position," said Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.

Palomarez pointed that Acosta is an expert in both the private and public sector. He believes that his skill set would be useful in serving the administration and the nation. Palomarez said he is excited to work with Acosta on economic and labor issues.

Committee chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, has also commented about Acosta’s nomination as Labor secretary. “Mr. Acosta's nomination is off to a good start because he's already been confirmed by the Senate three times,” he said in a statement via NBC News.

Earlier, Puzder has announced on Twitter that he was withdrawing his nomination to head Department of Labor. “I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labour. I’m honoured to have been considered and am grateful to all who have supported me,” he wrote on Twitter late Wednesday afternoon. Puzder did not provide specific reasons why he chose to drop out but noted that he made the decision after careful consideration and discussions his family.