President Trump Press Conference To Announce Labor Pick

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On the news of his withdrawal, Patty Murray, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, said it was clear from the start "that Puzder is uniquely unqualified", Reuters writes.

But it was only the Republicans who had the power to kill the nomination of fast-food executive Andrew Puzder. There will - and should - be questions about controversies during his career, notably a 2004 episode when, as the Justice Department's civil rights chief, he urged a federal court to look kindly on Ohio GOP challenges to the credentials of some 23,000 African American voters.

Mr Acosta met with the President on Wednesday evening just a few hours after Mr Puzder made a decision to step down from the role, after allegations of domestic abuse resurfaced via an old Oprah Winfrey tape which was handed to the Senate committee. The groups have been holding protests against Puzder, a restaurant chain executive who opposes a mandated wage boost.

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"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", Puzder said in the statement.

The fast food billionaire lost support of several Republicans after he admitted employing an illegal immigrant as a former housekeeper. "It's kind of the bottom of the pool", he said at a speech at Westmont College in California that year, with no apparent consideration to the idea that the best people would want to work somewhere that pays decently.

Had Republicans recognized the smear campaign against Puzder for what it was and stayed together in combatting the unions' assault on Puzder, his nomination would have likely survived or, at the very least, he would have had the opportunity to defend himself in his confirmation hearings.

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Trump, announcing Puzder's nomination, in December, said that his "extensive record fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor". On the other hand, at last count, Pruitt can count on the vote of one Democrat-Sen.

Labor watchdogs and industry allies praised Puzder following his withdrawal.

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