Watch live: Labor nominee Alexander Acosta's confirmation hearing

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  Updated March 22, 2017 at 12:45 PM
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March 22 (UPI) -- Alexander Acosta, President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as secretary of labor, faces a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

Acosta's confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions began at 9 a.m. Committee Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will preside over the hearing along with Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Trump nominated Acosta, who served as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under former President George W. Bush, in February.

"The nominee for secretary of the Department of Labor will be Mr. Alex Acosta. He has a law degree from Harvard Law School, was a great student, former clerk for Justice Samuel Alito and he has had a tremendous career," Trump said in the White House. "He's going to be -- I think he'll be a tremendous secretary of labor."

Acosta, if confirmed, would be the first Hispanic to join Trump's Cabinet. Trump's decision to nominate Acosta came after fast food executive Andrew F. Puzder withdrew his name from consideration.

Acosta previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and is the dean of the Florida International University College of Law. He has been confirmed by the Senate for three prior positions.

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