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Defending Obama’s Legacy, Senate Democrats Grill Trump’s Labor Nominee

U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (L) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) (R) depart following their introductions of Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta (C) prior to Acosta's testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee during his confirmation hearing March 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Acosta was questioned by members of the committee on his opinions relating to overtime rules during the early portion of the hearing: Win McNamee/Getty Images

By Ted Goodman | The Daily Caller

Senate Democrats grilled President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Department of Labor, R. Alexander Acosta, during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Overshadowed by Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court, Russia-related investigations and a dramatic health care vote set to take place Thursday, Democrats hammered Acosta about former President Obama’s labor legacy and Acosta’s presumed plans to dismantle it.

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduced Acosta, calling him a “brilliant legal mind,” and, someone with “deep knowledge of labor issues.” Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz also praised Acosta during his introduction to the committee. All three men, both the senators and the nominee, are Cuban-American.

Acosta was asked pointed questions regarding Obama’s labor policies, policies which remain in limbo. Acosta refrained from offering specific opinions, often deferring to the president.

Democrats asked Acosta to comment on the president’s budget proposal, which calls for a 21 percent cut to the Labor Department. Acosta refused to bite, claiming that he isn’t in a position to provide input on the budget process.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren questioned Acosta on Obama’s proposed fiduciary rule, a protective measure that compels financial advisors to make investment recommendations that are in the “best” interest of their client, as opposed to the most “suitable.”

The proposed rule, set to go into effect April 10, was delayed by President Trump Feb. 3, in order to be reexamined for revision or possible revision. Opponents of the rule argue that implementation would lead to reduced access to retirement advice, increased litigation and other adverse effects for the industry and retirees.

Acosta would not…

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