February 16, 2017
Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants and President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next labor secretary, withdrew his nomination on Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press reports.
“After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor,” Puzder said in a statement. “I am honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America’s workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity. I want thank President Trump for his nomination.
“I also thank my family and my many supporters — employees, businesses, friends, and people who have voiced their praise and hopeful optimism for the policies and new thinking I would have brought to America as Secretary of Labor. While I won’t be serving in the administration, I fully support the President and his highly qualified team.”
Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader told the White House that Puzder would not get enough votes to win confirmation in the Senate. According to the Chicago Tribune, a senior senate aide – speaking under the condition of anonymity – said there was growing resistance from Republicans as well as conservative organizations.
Puzder’s nomination faced several challenges, including allegations of spousal abuse from his first wife and reports that his family previously employed an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper. In addition, the National Review, a conservative publication, opposed his nomination due to Puzder’s support for increased legal immigration, which is in contrast to the President’s position.
Republican Senators including Susan Collins (Maine), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Tim Scott (S.C.), John Thune (S.D.), and Thom Tillis (N.C.) were all believed to be on the fence regarding his nomination. Rumors circulated that at least a dozen Republican Senators were opposed to his confirmation.
Puzder served as economic adviser to President Trump’s campaign. He and his current wife contributed $332,000 to his campaign, join fundraising committees, and the Republican National Committee.