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.
Sen. Collins, Murkowski, Scott and Isakson all withholding judgment on Puzder's nomination after he revealed he hired undocumented immigrant— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 7, 2017
Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDo progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Looking to the past to secure America's clean energy future Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid MORE (Maine), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonCritical race theory becomes focus of midterms Former Georgia ethics official to challenge McBath Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE (Ga.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDo progressives prefer Trump to compromise? This week: Democrats hit make-or-break moment for Biden GOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff MORE (Alaska) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottBooker: End of police reform negotiations a 'frustrating experience' Sunday shows - All eyes on spending votes Tim Scott says police reform talks collapsed with Dems over funding 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.
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 AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism 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 ClintonHas China already won? Budget impasses mark a critical turning point in Biden's presidency Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results 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.