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Alexander: Goal for New Labor Secretary is to Create Environment for Tennessee Workers to Succeed in Rapidly Changing Workplace

Says Senate will soon confirm Alexander Acosta so he can get to work rolling back Obama regulations that made it harder for Tennesseans to create, find and keep good-paying jobs

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., April 19, 2017 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told members of the Tennessee Association of Manufacturers that President Trump’s Labor Secretary nominee, Alexander Acosta, would soon be confirmed by the United States Senate so “he can get to work creating an environment for workers in Tennessee and across the country to succeed in a rapidly changing workplace.”

"The issue for Tennessee workers today is not whether they belong to a union, it’s whether they have the skills to adapt to the changing workplace,” Alexander said. “In Tennessee, we’ve got lots of advanced manufacturers coming in and they need skilled workers. Governor Haslam has not only shown formidable skill in recruiting companies, he’s also giving Tennessee high school students the best opportunity in history to earn a college degree with Tennessee Promise —but the federal government should be helping him create an environment for Tennesseans and employers to succeed.”

Alexander said, “too many of the federal government’s actions have made it harder for Americans to find and create jobs." Alexander cited the Obama administration’s overtime, persuader, and fiduciary regulations; the Affordable Care Act; the new joint employer policy that hurts franchise businesses; and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s EEO-1 form, saying, “One rule after another has stacked a big, wet blanket of costs and time-consuming mandates on job creators, causing them to create fewer jobs.”  

Alexander Acosta will be confirmed shortly, Alexander said. “We are fortunate to have a Labor Secretary nominee who understands how a good-paying job is critical to helping Tennessee workers realize the American dream for themselves and their families. Tennesseans do not want Washington telling them what to do, and I expect, President Trump and the Republican Congress will work together with Mr. Acosta once he is confirmed to ensure Tennesseans have more control over their everyday lives.”

As chairman of the Senate’s labor committee, Alexander held a confirmation hearing on March 22 for Alexander Acosta to become the next U.S. Secretary of Labor. The committee favorably reported out the nomination of Acosta on March 30, and his nomination is now ready for consideration by the full Senate.

Alexander Acosta has served as a Republican member of the National Labor Relations Board, as an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. He currently serves as dean of the Florida International University’s law school.

Founded in 1902, the Tennessee Association of Manufacturers was the first local manufacturers association in the United States. Today, Sen. Alexander praised the organization for its work in advocating for tax, labor, environmental and economic development issues.