Published: Thu, February 16, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

Fast Food CEO Puzder Withdraws Labor Secretary Nomination

Fast Food CEO Puzder Withdraws Labor Secretary Nomination

Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, became President Donald Trump's first failed cabinet pick when he withdrew from consideration for US labor secretary. With support for his confirmation slipping in the Senate, the White House opted to pull Puzder's nomination.

Puzder's confirmation hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

His hearing before the Senate was set to begin tomorrow, a date that had been postponed four times because Puzder had not submitted his ethics paperwork until last week. And the Washington Post reported Wednesday afternoon that a minimum of 12 Republicans were considering voting against Puzder. A Missouri court ruled on Tuesday granted a watchdog group access to Puzder's divorce records, revealing more details. Politico obtained a tape of Puzder's ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" saying he had "vowed revenge" on her when she said publicly that he had abused her. Fierstein later retracted her allegations of domestic abuse.

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"Puzder had no business running the Labor Department - an agency that uncovered wage theft at a number of Puzder's own restaurants - and it remains baffling that President Trump even nominated him in the first place", New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in an emailed statement in response to news of Puzder's withdrawal. Employing people not authorized to work in the United States has sunk Cabinet nominations by previous presidents. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the news "a victory for the American worker".

Puzder's withdrawal comes after Michael Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser due to allegedly misinforming the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his calls to the Russian ambassador past year over sanctions. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was approved only with the help of a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. Puzder has come under increasing fire for his questionable labor practices, his failure to properly withhold taxes for his nannie, and disturbing revelations of assault on his ex-wife. John McCain of Arizona issued a statement saying he would vote against Mulvaney early Thursday morning, saying he anxious Mulvaney might favor the large cuts to defense spending. That would have put the nomination in jeopardy, since Senate Republicans have only a 52-48 majority and Democrats are solidly opposed.

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