Regulation

Trump’s labor pick releases finances

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Alexander Acosta, President Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department, has a minimum net worth of about $400,000 and considerably fewer business entanglements than Trump’s previous nominee for the post.

Acotsa is the dean of Florida International University’s law school and chairs the board of U.S. Century Bank in Miami, which earned him a combined $550,000 from 2016 through this year, according to disclosures filed to the Office of Government Ethics.

Acosta’s ethics agreement, which has been sent to the Senate ahead of his confirmation hearing next week, says he will forfeit any bonus offered from U.S. Century Bank if it comes after he is confirmed as Labor secretary. 

{mosads}He estimates such a bonus as being between $50,000 and $150,000.

But any money received before the Senate confirms him would be added to his warrants in the company. He currently holds 300,000 warrants, a security that allows a person to buy a company’s stock at a fixed price, but will give up the half upon confirmation.

Acosta agreed not to participate “personally and substantially” in any issue or policy that has a direct impact on his finances for as long as he has investments in U.S. Century Bank. Nor would he participate in any matter specifically involving the bank without authorization — either from one year after his resignation, or within two years if he does take a bonus.

Acosta’s assets include basic investment and retirement accounts worth a total of between $400,000 and $950,000. 

His finances are a stark contrast to the White House’s previous pick to lead the department, Andrew Puzder.

The CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s — had a net worth of millions and a personal financial disclosure that stretched 33 pages.

But Puzder dropped out of the running for the Cabinet post last month, after several delays of his confirmation hearing led to increasing attacks from Democrats and Labor groups. 

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee announced Wednesday that it will hold Acosta’s confirmation hearing on March 15.

Acosta is seen as more moderate than Puzder and is likely to win support from Democrats. 

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