Andrew Puzder, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, has withdrawn his name from consideration for the position. In his place, Trump has nominated R. Alexander Acosta, dean of the law school at Florida International University.
Puzder’s confirmation hearings were scheduled to take place today after being postponed several times.
He released the following statement:
“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.”
Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of fast food chains including Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., has been a controversial pick from the beginning. A strong supporter of Trump during the presidential campaign, he has been criticized for his statements on the minimum wage, immigration reform, and other labor issues, and also faced opposition over several details of his personal life.
The Secretary of Labor leads the department that encompasses OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and numerous other agencies.