WASHINGTON — Andrew Puzder, tapped by President Donald J. Trump for Secretary of Labor, withdrew his nomination.
In a statement, Mr. Puzder said, “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 to 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.”
Recent personal controversies may have given some Republican lawmakers reservations about confirming Mr. Puzder to the post. He recently revealed he had failed to pay taxes for an undocumented housekeeper.
“It is extremely unfortunate that the confirmation process has resulted in a qualified and dedicated man withdrawing from the Labor Secretary nomination,” Cicely Simpson, executive vice-president of the National Restaurant Association, said in a statement. “Andy Puzder would have made a great Labor Secretary. We hope that President Trump’s next Labor Secretary nominee, like Andy, has experience creating jobs and a deep understanding how to get business and government to work together to grow the economy.”
Mr. Puzder has been chief executive officer of Carpinteria, Calif.-based CKE Restaurants, parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, since 2000. He recently co-wrote the book “Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.” He is a vocal critic of the $15 minimum wage, new overtime rules and the Affordable Health Care Act.
Industry associations applauded his nomination. In a letter dated Feb. 14, the National Retail Federation (N.R.F.) wrote a letter of support for Mr. Puzder’s confirmation as Labor Secretary.
“Mr. Puzder has a proven record as a job creator and a thorough understanding of the challenges facing businesses and the workforce alike,” David French, N.R.F. senior vice-president for Government Relations, wrote in a letter. “As Secretary of Labor, the National Retail Federation is confident that Mr. Puzder will work with stakeholders on a pro-growth agenda that supports innovation, investments in the workforce, and American competitiveness.”CKE Restaurants is a member of N.R.F.’s National Council of Chain Restaurants division.