After multiple delays, labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder has a new date for his confirmation hearing: Feb. 16.
The fast-food chief executive has completed his ethics review and submitted his paperwork to the Senate, according to a spokesman for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate HELP committee.
Puzder’s confirmation process has stalled because of delays in his ethics review. The nominee faced complications with his plan for separating himself from CKE Restaurants, a fast-food chain that includes Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., according to spokesman George Thompson.
The new hearing date comes days after Puzder admitted he once hired an undocumented immigrant to work as a housekeeper. Puzder said in a statement that he has “fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the State of California and submitted all required paperwork.” Senate Republicans and the White House defended him after the news broke and pushed back against rumors that Puzder was having second thoughts about his nomination.
“The administration strongly supports Andy Puzder and wants to stick with him,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters on Tuesday. “He realized the mistake. He fixed it,
and I think is eminently qualified for the job, and for myself, I’m enthusiastically in his camp.”
Puzder has faced strong resistance from labor groups and Democrats who worry he will not defend workers, citing reports of wage violations at his restaurants, his opposition to substantially raising the minimum wage and the use of sexually suggestive ads that opponents say are demeaning to women.