The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) will vote on whether to confirm R. Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary on March 30, 2017.
In his confirmation hearing on March 22, Acosta fielded questions from senators that focused on the Labor Department’s controversial overtime rule, which was blocked by a federal district court judge in Texas and is on appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The government’s final brief is due May 1, 2017, pushed back from an earlier deadline to allow the new administration to express its views on the rule. (For more on the litigation, see our article, Texas Court Grants Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Enjoining Department of Labor from Implementing or Enforcing Regulation Raising Salary Level for White Collar Exemptions.)
In contentious questioning, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asked Acosta whether he would “promise not to weaken the silica rule in any way and not to delay future compliance by even a single day.” Acosta said that President Donald Trump had “directed each cabinet officer to review all rules.” He continued, “Based on that executive action, I cannot make a commitment.”