Andrew Puzder withdraws nomination for labor secretary

Posted at 3:53 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 15:57:33-05

WASHINGTON — Andrew Puzder says he is withdrawing as President Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary.

The fast food executive says in a statement provided to The Associated Press that 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.”

Puzder says “while I won’t be serving in the administration, I fully support the President and his highly qualified team.”

Puzder’s confirmation hearing was scheduled for Thursday. But 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 U.S.

Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement:

“I stand with millions of working men and women across America in cheering Andrew Puzder’s decision to withdraw his troubled nomination for Labor Secretary.

“Puzder had no business running the Labor Department — an agency that uncovered wage theft at a number of Puzder’s own restaurants — and it remains baffling that President Trump even nominated him in the first place.

“President Trump’s next nominee for Labor Secretary must be committed to protecting workers’ rights, rather than seeking to undermine them at every turn. Whoever that nominee is, I stand ready to use the full force of my office to ensure that workers are treated fairly.”