Trump Labor Secretary Not Acting Very Conservative

Alex Acosta allowing Obama holdovers to keep policies in place, impose regulations… 

Trump's Labor Dept Continues Obama Threats Over Forced Unionization 1

Alexander Acosta/Photo by US Department of Labor (CC)

(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) Nobody else seems to be paying much attention, but the Powerline blog is afire with reports that the new Secretary of Labor is protecting the swamp rather than draining it.

Longtime labor law attorney Alex Acosta has a largely Republican and conservative background, having served as a clerk for now-Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito (when Alito was an appeals court judge) and then serving various significant positions in the G.W. Bush administration.

The left-wing The Nation magazine certainly thought he was conservative, writing last year that from their standpoint Acosta was “more dangerous than you think.”

But at Powerline, respected conservative lawyer Paul Mirengoff began warning way back before Acosta was confirmed that “when he was Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division… Acosta’s priority wasn’t the advancement of the administration’s policy goals. Rather, it was to stay on the good side of left-wing civil rights groups.”

(Newsmax also reported back then that “Conservatives [are] wary of Alexander Acosta’s past advocacy for immigrants.”)

Beginning Jan. 18 of this year, Mirengoff has returned repeatedly to that theme, saying that after nine months in office Acosta appears to be “keeping Barack Obama’s left-wing program in place.”

On Feb. 6, Mirengoff lamented that Acosta has “allow[ed] Obama holdovers to maintain exclusive control of the Department’s key Administrative Review Board, and thereby dictate how dozens of key statutes are interpreted. Acosta has the right, at his sole discretion, to replace every one of the ARB’s members. Congress has no say. Yet a year into the Trump administration, every member of that body is a holdover from the Obama/Tom Perez Labor Department. Excuse the mixed metaphor, but Acosta’s unwillingness to cut this low-hanging fruit makes a mockery of Trump’s promise to drain the swamp.”

The Administrative Review Board is important: It “issues final agency decisions for the Secretary of Labor in cases arising under a wide range of worker protection laws.”

And, sure enough, Mirengoff reports that “the ARB has been issuing pro-leftist decisions non-stop, according to those who practice before it. I’m told that the plaintiffs’ bar, which probably can’t believe its luck, has been openly mocking the administration over this.”

The blog post provided several examples, including one where the ARB ruled that a business could not terminate an employee who missed significant time from work because of general “anxiety.”

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimous three-person decision, overturned the ARB’s mistaken, anti-business ruling.

On Feb. 7, Powerline featured another anti-Acosta post.

But this time, Mirengoff isn’t the only one complaining.

Rubio Grills Apple for Sucking Up to China for Profits 1

Marco Rubio/Photo by Michael Vadon (CC)

The blog reported that conservative U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has now written a letter to Acosta demanding to know why the Labor Department continues to use Obama-era misinterpretations of regulations concerning home health registries.

This is significant, because Rubio had been one of Acosta’s chief boosters when Trump nominated Acosta for the job.

“I hope I’m not being unfair,” Mirengoff wrote, “but this scenario seems like vintage Acosta — withdraw Obama’s interpretation, but do nothing to prevent DOL employees from continuing to use it. In other words, try to split the baby and avoid criticism from either side.”

Still, not all conservatives seem unhappy with Acosta.

The right-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council, which is a clearinghouse of reformist conservative ideas for legislation in state legislatures, featured Acosta as a main speaker at its summer conference last July, where he spoke about “streamlining” licensing requirements in order to speed up hiring practices.

Acosta also tweeted on the subject at the time.

As few other conservatives have so openly complained about Acosta, the jury from the right appears to be still out.

But more conservatives are now likely to pay close attention now that Powerline has been so strongly on the case.

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  • jcrawdad

    Trump Labor Secretary Not Acting Very Conservative
    Alex Acosta allowing Obama holdovers to keep policies in place, impose regulations…

    TRUMPS INVESTIGATING TEAM ARE NOT DOING A VERY GOOD JOB FOR THE PRESIDENT AT CHECKING THEES PEOPLE OUT BEFORE BRINGING THEM ON BOARD. SOMETHING HE SHOULD LOOK INTO.

    • Concerned

      Certainly appears to be the case. He should be replaced ASAP.

    • John Ant

      The investigating team is probably still all Obo group

    • Mike

      But Trump only knows the best people.

  • baitmando

    Get him the ef out now.

  • ImOffendedTreatMeSpecial

    Simple solution, fire him first.

  • Al Chemist

    Trump has, so far, not been shy about firing people. Let’s hope he gets the word this guy is a loser and boots him. The sooner, the better.

  • ted towny

    GET HIM!

  • Harvey Mitterdorf

    Looks to be a Trojan horse.

  • SA Ander

    DT needs to send the gun totters over and remove him from office, part of swamp draining 101.

  • Ed Roberts

    I hate to see the protections removed from workers right I’m a retired Union Electrician from the bay area Ca 20 yrs ago I moved back to Tenn I voted for Trump I know lots of Union people that voted for Trump a lot of the protections that are in place are good safety save money and lives,there are worthless politicians on both sides twice as many on the Democrats Paul Ryan is worthless all he wants to do is cut SS and Medicare for Retirees but for America to rebuild our infrastructure we will need every skill worker,plus there is a shortage I was a baby boomer and Millions more are retiring,we may have to import worker here from other country’s to get this all fixed,you all drive on the roads and Bridges,so you know how rough they are,water treatment plant are old and out dated,waste water is in very bad condition,people that work in and office would know where to start,,it going to cost more than 1 1/2 trillion these states have been collecting gas tax for yrs where does it go.

  • 615GEJ1

    Acosta and all with political tendrils connected to him must go!

  • John Wirts

    TIME TO drain the swamp. If they don’t support Trump’s agenda and help drain the swamp, fire and replace them NOW!

  • ADRoberts

    So once again, Trump has FAILED. This is not a surprise. I don’t believe Acosta is NOT doing what Trump has told him. He is just doing what the NEW WORLD ORDER says.

  • Walkin O’Shea

    Wow, is there no vetting going on in the white house at all? The Obama holdovers are all over the place, willy nilly. Mr. President bring on a head-hunter and find the best people for these positions. Start draining the swamp by being pro-active. Don’t just continue to use the dregs. They will f..k you up, worse they already are f..king up the country.

  • bigmur

    Somebody better start investigating their investigating team and doing background checks on these so called RINO’S. Lets face it this government is to big and and to curopped for one person to try to fix it. Also their are conspirators that don’t want it fixed like the DNC the FBI and DOJ if they wanted it fixed it would already been fixed. It doesn’t take long to fire these idiots and the government can run without them. If that were you and me were would have been gone already.

  • Norma Jean DeForest

    Fire him and appoint someone who is with the President not against him.

  • Frank Budz

    The statement in this article that is really telling. “He served in various significant positions in the GW Bush administration.” That says it all, RINO, remove him immediately. Bush was almost as bad as the Muslim King and was a blundering idiot. It’s no wonder that the country is in the shape it’s in. With that idiot running the country, the global elitist had free rein with our Government to install their minions into all of the Government’s Agencies. It is a shame that this great man that sits in the Oval Office has to deal with these people, he has to fill openings and can only go by who is recommended. Trust is something that is very hard to earn but when you’re put in a position that requires ppointments you have no choice but trust your advisors.

  • Vaquero

    If the lefts do like Acosta he has to go.