With President Donald Trump’s Labor secretary pick, fast-food CEO Andy Puzder, facing increasing scrutiny and a growing opposition campaign, four GOP senators are reportedly “withholding judgement” on the controversial nominee.
According to CNN reporter Manu Raju on Tuesday, Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Tim Scott (S.C.), and Johnny Isakson (Ga.) are “all withholding judgment on Puzder’s nomination after he revealed he hired undocumented immigrant.”
That revelation came Monday in a statement from Puzder:
As news outlets have noted, similar admissions have torpedoed previous nominees’ chances in the past.
Labor advocates said the revelations raised more questions about his fitness for the post.
“Puzder wants to be the chief enforcer of the nation’s labor laws, but his history of flouting those laws makes it clear that he is unfit for the job,” wrote Economic Policy Institute vice president Ross Eisenbrey on Tuesday. “Puzder’s violations of immigration law make him a strange choice to be a cabinet officer in President Donald Trump’s administration, given the president’s near hysteria about the presence of undocumented immigrant workers in the United States.”
And in her statement about the news, National Employment Law Project executive director Christine Owens asked, “How can anyone—especially members of the U.S. Senate—still think he is qualified to lead the Labor Department?”
Also giving Puzder trouble is a “brutally damning” essay published Tuesday at the Washington Post.
“The headlines ponder what [Puzder’s nomination] may mean for working people in America, but I already know,” wrote JoAnn Wise, who worked for 21 years at Hardee’s, one of the major restaurants in Puzder’s CKE Restaurants orbit.
Among those drawing attention to Wise’s op-ed was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who sits on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions—where Puzder will eventually appear for his confirmation hearing. The hearing has been postponed multiple times.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Meanwhile, Puzder opponents took the occasion of Tuesday’s 24th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act to bolster their campaign against the nominee, whom they said would weaken such critical worker protections.
Others tweeted about Puzder under the hashtag #AntiLaborSecretary: