US labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder withdraws
Fast food workers gather outside the corporate offices of Carl Karcher Enterprise, parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants, protesting the possible confirmation of company CEO Andy Puzder as US labor secretary in Anaheim, California, US February 13, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]
WASHINGTON - Andy Puzder, the nominee for labor secretary picked by US President Donald Trump, said Wednesday he has withdrawn his name from consideration for the post as facing opposition from a number of Republican lawmakers, leaving shrinking chance for him to survive a Senate confirmation voting.
"After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for secretary of Labor, " said the bruised fast food executive in a statement provided to local media. He is the highest profile of Trump's cabinet picks to remove the nomination himself.
Puzder's withdrawal came one day before a scheduled confirmation hearing in the Senate, where some Republicans had raised concerns about his failure to pay taxes for five years on a former housekeeper who wasn' t authorized to work in the United States, according to local reports.
The CEO of CKE Restaurants said he was "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."
"While I won't be serving in the administration, I fully support the president and his highly qualified team", said Puzder in a statement issued to the public.
"The simple truth is that given his relationship to employees that the companies he runs, he was not fit to lead a department responsible for defending workers' rights," said Bernie Sander, the Vermont senator who ran for the Democratic nomination last year.
Claiming Puzder's withdrawal as their victory, Democrates had accused Puzder of mistreating his workers, opposing increasing minimum wage and supporting automation in workplaces. There are also allegations that he abused his ex-wife in the 1980s.