WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led Senate on Thursday confirmed lawyer Eugene Scalia, a son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, as President Donald Trump’s new labor secretary.
The Senate voted alongside celebration strains, 53-44, to approve Scalia’s nomination. Republicans mentioned his background in labor and employment regulation made him certified for the submit. Democrats mentioned Scalia fought for companies and in opposition to employees and was the fallacious candidate for the Cabinet submit.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, mentioned he obtained greater than 30 letters of assist for Scalia from small-business house owners, employees, former profession attorneys on the Labor Department, the place Scalia as soon as labored, and extra.
“It is important for the Department of Labor to create an environment to help employers and employees succeed in today’s rapidly changing workplace,” mentioned Alexander, R-Tenn.
Scalia spent the majority of his profession as a companion within the Washington workplace of the Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher agency, the place he rang up a string of victories in courtroom instances on behalf of enterprise pursuits difficult labor and monetary rules. He additionally served for a 12 months because the Labor Department’s high lawyer through the George W. Bush administration.
“The president has sent us a corporate lawyer who’s fought over and over to stop workplace protections, to undermine worker safety, to depress workers’ wages over and over and over again,” mentioned Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
The AFL-CIO opposed the nomination, calling Scalia a union-busting lawyer who has eroded labor rights and shopper protections.
“We will not forget this betrayal by the Trump administration, and we will never stop fighting to ensure all working people have the safety protections on the job they deserve,” mentioned AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Business pursuits considered Scalia as a sturdy opponent of presidency overreach and backed his nomination.
FreedomWorks, a conservative group that helped launch the tea celebration motion, mentioned Scalia’s affirmation “is a victory in the fight against outdated, burdensome workplace regulations that neither protect employees nor encourage job and wage growth.”
Scalia turns into the seventh former lobbyist to carry a Cabinet-level submit within the Trump administration.
On his monetary disclosure kind filed with the Office of Government Ethics, Scalia listed 49 shoppers who paid him $5,000 or extra for authorized providers, together with e-cigarette producer Juul Labs, Facebook, Ford, Walmart and Bank of America.
Disclosure data present Scalia was registered in 2010 and 2011 to foyer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Trump’s earlier labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, resigned in July after renewed criticism for his dealing with of a 2008 secret plea take care of financier Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was discovered lifeless final month in his cell at a federal jail in Manhattan after his July arrest on intercourse trafficking costs.
Deputy Labor Secretary Pat Pizzella has been serving as appearing secretary.