Source: Puzder hearing expected to be canceled as Republicans bolt
A Capitol Hill hearing for Andrew Puzder, President Donald Trump’s choice for labor secretary, is expected to be canceled Thursday as expectations grow that he will drop out, a source told CNN Wednesday afternoon.
Top Senate Republicans have urged the White House to withdraw the Puzder nomination, a senior GOP source said, adding there are four firm Republican no votes and possibly up to 12.
Puzder needs at least 50 votes to pass with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence, and Republicans only hold control of 52 seats.
Puzder, the CEO of the company that owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food chains, has faced fierce opposition mostly from Democrats in part related to his position on labor issues as well as the fact that he employed an undocumented housekeeper.
A Puzder spokesman could not be reached for comment. CNN has also reached out to the White House for comment and have not yet received a response.
A source told CNN that Puzder has been getting conflicting advice from the White House on what to do.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer fanned the flames behind the opposition to Puzder in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“No matter how you cut it, there is no worse pick for labor secretary than Andrew Puzder, and I’m encouraged my Republican colleagues are starting to agree,” the New York Democrat said. “He does not belong anywhere near the Labor Department, let alone at the head of it. Puzder’s disdain for the American worker, the very people he would be responsible for protecting, is second to none.”