Republicans reportedly grew weary of Puzder’s potential liabilities, including Democrat accusations of fostering an “unfriendly” environment for workers at CKE Restaurants, the holding company he runs that owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
“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 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 added. “While I won’t be serving in the administration, I fully support the President and his highly qualified team.”
Puzder, seen as a stanch supporter of regulatory rollbacks, could have had a major influence on the implementation of the DOL’s fiduciary rule going forward, which had Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, in particular, questioning his qualifications and temperament for the position.
Warren, the evergreen thorn in the side of the Trump Administration, sent Puzder a 28-page letter with 83 questions earlier in the week.”
“My staff’s review of your 16-year tenure …reveals that you’ve made your fortune by squeezing the very workers you’d be charged with protecting as Labor Secretary out of wages and benefits,” Warren wrote with loaded language in letter.
She accused Puzder’s company of having a “record of prolific labor law abuses and discrimination suits” and his own “long record of public comments [that] reveals a sneering contempt for the workers in your stores, and a vehement opposition to the laws you will be charged with enforcing.”