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Senate approves nomination of Scalia for Labor secretary

Posted On: Sep. 27, 2019 12:37 PM CST


The U.S. Senate approved the nomination of former corporate attorney Eugene Scalia as secretary of the Department of Labor on Thursday.

The Senate voted 53-44 in favor of the nomination of Mr. Scalia, who was previously a partner with the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and is the son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Former Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta was forced to resign his position in July following controversy surrounding his brokering a perceived lenient deal for wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2008, when he was a federal prosecutor.

Deputy Secretary of labor Patrick Pizzella was initially tapped by President Donald Trump as acting DOL secretary, but the president then announced Mr. Scalia’s nomination.

Attorneys representing employers have said that under Mr. Scalia, who has previously worked in the department under President George W. Bush, the department will maintain its course of issuing policies favorable to employers.

However, in a tweet Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) criticized Mr. Scalia and the nomination.  “As a corporate lawyer and lobbyist, Eugene Scalia made millions working for Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Facebook and other huge corporations, helping them undermine health and safety regulations,” said the tweet.

“So naturally he’s Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department.  Obscene.”

Meanwhile, the department issued its long-awaited and controversy-dogged overtime rule Tuesday.