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Why Alex Acosta is in Trouble


You think Trump and friends care about Acosta work getting Jeffrey Epstein off? Of course, not, that’s a plus. But Acosta is still in danger of losing his job. That’s because he’s actually probably the least terrible person in the Trump Cabinet in terms of policy, merely a regular Republican instead of Leonard Leo’s orgasmic dreams come true.

Corporate lobbyists and some White House officials have grown frustrated that Acosta hasn’t moved fast enough on deregulation and other business-friendly initiatives, the people said. No decision has been made on Acosta’s future in the administration, they added, though two people said that his time is short.

Were Acosta to resign or be forced out, current deputy secretary Patrick Pizzella would become acting secretary. Pizzella is regarded as more aggressively pro-business than Acosta, which may be one reason the current secretary hasn’t come under broader attack from Democrats and labor unions.

Acosta, 50, was nominated and sworn in as secretary in 2017. He was a former National Labor Relations Board member, served as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush and was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

A former law school dean and thrice-Senate-confirmed official from the Bush administration, Acosta enjoyed 18 months on Trump’s Cabinet with minimal controversy. He had the support of the president and a positive relationship with his daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump.

More recently, circumstances have shifted for the labor secretary. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s arrival in the West Wing in January led to the imposition of a new policy in which regulatory disagreements between agency and White House aides were elevated to Mulvaney for a final decision. At the same time, some White House officials complained that Acosta and his senior staff were slow-walking efforts to reverse Obama-administration policies.

Priorities and all.

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