U.S. Labor Dept nominee Puzder withdraws, in blow to Trump | Reuters

By Sarah N. Lynch | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON In a blow to President Donald Trump as he tries to assemble his administration, his nominee for labour secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday amid concerns that he could not garner enough Senate votes to be confirmed.Puzder's decision to withdraw is yet another setback this week for a White House still grappling with fallout from Monday night's abrupt resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, after less than a month in the job.Puzder, the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc, which primarily franchises fast-food chains including Hardee's and Carl's Jr, has been at the centre of a swirl of controversies, complaints and potential conflicts.He admitted earlier this month that he and his wife had employed an undocumented person as a housekeeper. He faced a flurry of complaints and legal cases brought in recent weeks and months by workers against his business and its franchises

Reuters February 16, 2017 05:45:06 IST
U.S. Labor Dept nominee Puzder withdraws, in blow to Trump
| Reuters

US Labor Dept nominee Puzder withdraws in blow to Trump
 Reuters

By Sarah N. Lynch
| WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON In a blow to President Donald Trump as he tries to assemble his administration, his nominee for labour secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday amid concerns that he could not garner enough Senate votes to be confirmed.Puzder's decision to withdraw is yet another setback this week for a White House still grappling with fallout from Monday night's abrupt resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, after less than a month in the job.Puzder, the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc, which primarily franchises fast-food chains including Hardee's and Carl's Jr, has been at the centre of a swirl of controversies, complaints and potential conflicts.He admitted earlier this month that he and his wife had employed an undocumented person as a housekeeper. He faced a flurry of complaints and legal cases brought in recent weeks and months by workers against his business and its franchises. Most recently, a decades-old Oprah Winfrey tape raising allegations of domestic abuse by his ex-wife resurfaced, though those allegations had been withdrawn.“After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor," Puzder said in a statement. Puzder's withdrawal came one day before his scheduled confirmation hearing.

At least seven Republican senators, including Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, declined to publicly back Puzder in advance of the confirmation hearing.For weeks now, Republican senators have been telling Senator John Cornyn, the second-highest ranking Republican, that they believed some of their colleagues would join Collins and Murkowski in opposing Puzder, according to a senior Senate Republican aide. DEMOCRATS CHEER

The Labor Department oversees compliance with federal laws that mandate safe working conditions, a minimum hourly wage, overtime wages and prohibit employment discrimination. As labour secretary, Puzder would have shaped the department’s approach to these issues, including whether to defend an Obama administration rule expanding overtime pay to millions of workers that has been challenged in the courts. Earlier this month, Puzder admitted he and his wife had employed an undocumented person as a housekeeper and had to pay back taxes as a result.

Workers at some of CKE's restaurants have filed claims in recent weeks alleging they were victims of wage theft or victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.Another possible problem were allegations dating back to 1986 that Puzder had physically abused his now ex-wife, Lisa Henning, now known as Lisa Fierstein.Fierstein filed for divorce in 1987 and later retracted her allegations, but not before appearing anonymously as a victim of domestic abuse on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."Last week, the OWN Network released a copy of that tape to the Senate committee so both Democratic and Republican members could view it, according to an aide."From the start, it’s been clear that Puzder is uniquely unqualified to serve as secretary of labour," said Patty Murray, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by Timothy Ahmann, Richard Cowan, Robert Iafolla and Amanda Becker; Editing by Linda Stern and Leslie Adler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.