Report: Four GOP senators mum on Trump’s Labor pick

Report: Four GOP senators mum on Trump’s Labor pick
© Getty Images

Four GOP senators are refusing to say whether they’ll vote to confirm Andrew Puzder, President Trump’s Labor secretary pick, amid revelations that he once employed an undocumented worker, CNN reported Tuesday.

Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump GOP Sen. Murkowski 'struggling' with whether to vote for Trump MORE (Maine), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonJustice Department closing stock investigations into Loeffler, Inhofe, Feinstein Loeffler runs ad tying Doug Collins to Pelosi, Sanders, Biden The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip MORE (Ga.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump hits John Kelly for defense of Jim Mattis OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Trump vows to campaign against Murkowski after senator's criticism MORE (Alaska) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottPaul clashes with Booker, Harris over anti-lynching bill Rand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill With capital, communities of color can lead our economic revival MORE (S.C.) are withholding judgement on Puzder, making it unclear whether he will get the 51 votes necessary for confirmation.

The senators’ silence on Puzder could be a sign that the fast food executive’s nomination is in jeopardy before it even leaves the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

ADVERTISEMENT

Democrats on the committee are poised to vote against Puzder’s nomination.

The senators’ refusal to weigh in on Puzder came a day after the CKE Restaurants CEO admitted to once employing an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper.

“My wife and I employed a housekeeper for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.,” Puzder said in a statement.

“When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status.  We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the State of California and submitted all required paperwork.”

In the wake of that revelation, HELP Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderMurkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump China stalled reporting genetic information about COVID-19, angering WHO: report Senate GOP chairman criticizes Trump withdrawal from WHO MORE (R-Tenn.) said on Monday that it did not disqualify Puzder, because he reported and corrected the issue.

Still, similar admissions have taken Cabinet nominees out of the running before. Two of former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDavis: 72 hours cementing the real choice for November Top Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP How Obama just endorsed Trump MORE’s attorney general nominees, for example, had to withdraw from consideration after revelations that they had hired undocumented workers.

Puzder’s nomination has, so far, been riddled with controversy surrounding his positions on issues such as overtime pay and sick leave for workers. His confirmation hearing has also been delayed four times, most recently last week, as Puzder works to resolve conflicts of interest related to CKE Restaurants.