Well, not quite. But here, according to Bloomberg, is what President Trump’s acting chief of staff has done:
Mick Mulvaney has seized power over the Labor Department’s rulemaking process out of frustration with the pace of deregulation under Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, according to current and former department officials and other people who communicate with the administration.
Upon arriving at the West Wing in January, Mulvaney instituted a formalized system for settling regulatory policy and timeline disputes between White House assistants and Acosta’s top aides, said people with direct knowledge of the process.
Conflicts are elevated to Mulvaney for a final decision, said one official with direct knowledge. Acosta and his staff have been losing these decisions so often that they’ve stopped bothering to appeal, said current and former DOL officials.
This has led to an acceleration of previously languishing rules on overtime pay, job training, and workplace safety that businesses have sought during the first two years of Trump’s administration.
The White House intervention also signals more contentious regulations—such as rules to bolster union oversight or restrict workers from taking medical leave—could now be in the pipeline at a department that appears less likely to embody its secretary’s risk-averse style for the remainder of Trump’s presidency.
This is great news. But here’s an idea: Why not sack the “risk-averse” secretary, Alex Acosta? The number two man at DOL, Pat Pizzella, is able and conservative. With him in charge, Mulvaney probably wouldn’t have to worry about the possibility of having to referee disputes about overtime pay, job training, workplace safety rules, etc. None of this stuff traditionally occupies White House staff chiefs even in less turbulent administrations than this one.
It’s not as if Mulvaney has time on his hands. As Bloomberg notes, currently he must deal with the following:
advising Trump as he defends himself from Democratic subpoenas and calls for his impeachment in the aftermath of the Mueller report; maintaining order at a White House amid the early stages of the 2020 re-election campaign; and continuing to direct the Office of Management and Budget.
With all of this and more on his plate, Mulvaney shouldn’t have to worry about the DOL. If Trump fires Acosta, Mulvaney probably won’t have to.
As an added bonus, Trump’s cabinet would no longer include a guy who gave a sweetheart deal to a pedophile, violating federal law in the process. And Trump wouldn’t have to worry about having that thrown in his face next year when he seeks reelection.
I have a hard time understanding why Trump hasn’t removed Acosta.