Andrew Puzder, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, on Feb. 15 withdrew from consideration. His action came one day before his confirmation hearing was set to take place before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
Puzder posted this statement on his blog:
“After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for secretary of Labor. 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 want thank President Trump for his nomination. 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. While I won’t be serving in the administration, I fully support the President and his highly qualified team.”
There was no comment from either president Trump or White House staffers on Puzder’s withdrawal or a possible replacement. Citing an unnamed White House official, however, Bloomberg reported that four individuals are being considered: former National Labor Relations Board members Peter Kirsanow and R. Alexander Acosta; Joseph Guzman, an assistant professor at Michigan State University; and Catherine Templeton, former head of the South Carolina labor department.
Puzder’s nomination had faced increasingly daunting circumstances. Originally scheduled for Jan. 17, his confirmation hearing was delayed three times and had been set for Feb. 16. Reports indicated that as his hearing approached, he lacked sufficient support among majority Republicans to secure confirmation.