Puzder will be the first cabinet nominee of the Trump administration not to be confirmed
Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of labor, fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, withdrew from the confirmation process Wednesday after scrutiny of his personal and professional life made some Republican senators reluctant to confirm him.
Puzder’s nomination began to come apart on Monday, when reports emerged that at least four Republican senators whose votes were key for confirmation had cold feet. By early Wednesday afternoon, CNN reported, those senators had become solid “No” votes, and GOP Senate leadership was urging the White House to kill the nomination.
The news comes after days of intense scrutiny over Puzder’s fitness to lead the Labor Department and questionable support from Republican senators.
Puzder, who previously lead the company that owns fast food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, came under fire earlier this month after reports that he and his wife had employed an undocumented immigrant for housework.
Democrats have been vehemently opposed to Puzder’s nomination, and for good reason: Puzder has spoken out against worker benefits such as paid sick leave and the Affordable Care Act, and said he’s against raising the federal minimum wage above $9. Meanwhile, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. franchisees are currently embroiled in numerous lawsuits alleging labor and wage violations.
And Puzder’s past has also come under the microscope in recent days. Earlier this week, Politico unearthed a 1990 episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” where Puzder’s ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, accused him of domestic abuse. Puzder has repeatedly denied the allegations and Fierstein recanted her accounts of abuse shortly after the episode aired.
Puzder was expected to face some tough questioning at Thursday’s hearing, particularly from Senator Elizabeth Warren, who published a letter earlier this week voicing grave concerns about his company’s “record of prolific labor law abuses and discrimination suits,” among other things.