President Donald Trump’s nomination for Labor secretary decided to withdraw from consideration for the position after his professional and personal past was exposed by the media.
The Trump Administration has nominated Alexander Acosta for Labor Secretary and is expected to get an easy confirmation from the Senate.
Alexander Acosta, 48, is the dean of Florida International University’s law school. He was on the National Labor Relations Board from 2002 to 2003, and in the Justice Department as assisnant attorney general under President George W. Bush.
Acosta has been confirmed by the Senate for three different positions, which should make is easier for him to be confirmed. He is a conservative Republican and worked many high profile cases in his years with the Justice Department.
Puzder withdrew his name from the hat officially on the eve of his scheduled Senate hearing. The confirmation hearing has been delayed several times prior.
“After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor,” said Puzder in the 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 to 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.”
He is the first Cabinet nominee of Trump’s to withdraw.
Puzder first faced opposition due to his role as the CEO of the fast-food conglomerate CKE Restaurants, the company that owns Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s. Democrats in particular criticized Trump’s pick and argued that he wouldn’t advocate for the workers.
“The fact that someone so anti-labor was even nominated shows how far President Trump is from where he campaigned,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“If President Trump is remotely serious about standing up for workers, he will nominate someone for Labor Secretary that champions workers’ rights rather than suppresses them.”
While, several Republican leaders were confident in Trump’s selection of Puzder.
“I’m a strong supporter of Andy Puzder. I think he’s uniquely qualified for this job,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday.
But, Democrats weren’t the only ones not being supportive. Some Senate Republicans made it clear they did not think Puzder was the right man for the job. Then the controversies about his personal life were all over the media.
“Puzder’s high-profile divorce including past abuse allegations from his ex-wife; revelations that his family had hired an undocumented immigrant as their housekeeper; and his business background all have cast a harsh spotlight on the executive. Puzder could not afford to lose much Republican backing, since the GOP has a slim majority in the Senate,” writes Fox News.
The National Restaurant Association was disappointed in Puzder’s withdrawal.
“It is extremely unfortunate that the confirmation process has resulted in a qualified and dedicated man withdrawing from the Labor Secretary nomination,” said Leslie Shedd, a spokeswoman for the National Restaurant Association in a written statement. “Andy Puzder would have made a great Labor Secretary.”
Other groups on the other hand applauded the move considering his personal stance on immigration.
“Puzder himself has been a reliable font of clichés in favor of higher levels of legal immigration,” writes the National Review. “He has suggested that ‘the fact is that there are jobs in this country that U.S. citizens, for whatever reason, are reluctant or unwilling to perform’ — a cliché that ignores the possibility of raising wages to attract citizens — and as recently as 2015 encouraged reviving the Gang of Eight approach to immigration.”
So who will take his place as Trump’s nominee?
White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not comment on if Trump had another potential in mind. Spicer did express frustrations that Democrats were “slow-walking” nominees.
“Where’s the role of Senate Democrats in this? We are now entering a point where we have slow-walked senior officials that can help make the government run as a whole,” said Spicer.
“So when you tell me that you have asked Chuck Schumer that, I’d be glad to answer the question. But at some point there is no focus on these guys having a double standard [from] what they had for Obama nominees.”