Andy Puzder withdraws nomination after losing Republican support

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17 February, 2017

Miami native and law school dean R. Alexander Acosta has been chosen by President Donald Trump to lead the U.S. Department of Labor.

Puzder issued a statement confirming that he was stepping down, in which he said that he made his decision "after careful considerations and discussions" with his family. Acosta is the first Hispanic that Trump has chosen for his cabinet.

If confirmed by the Senate, Acosta would be the first Hispanic to serve on Trump's Cabinet. He previously served as the first Hispanic assistant attorney general and as US attorney for the Southern District of Florida, as well as on the National Labor Relations Board.

He now is dean of Florida International University College of Law and chairman of U.S. Century Bank.

With his confirmation relying on little room for defections, CNN reported that "a senior GOP source" told the White House earlier that the Senate had four firm Republican no votes and possibly up to 12.

Puzder, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in December, has face outspoken objections from Democrats, citing concerns over his treatment of low-wage workers at his restaurants.

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Puzder, the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc, which primarily franchises fast-food chains including Hardee's and Carl's Jr, has been at the centre of a swirl of controversies, complaints and potential conflicts.

According to an anonymous Republican senator who spoke to The Washington Post, Puzder's withdrawal came after at least 12 Republican senators said they were considering not supporting his nomination. Puzder said he had employed - and belatedly paid taxes on - a housekeeper not authorized to work in the United States.

Politico shared the video of Lisa Fierstein, Puzder's ex-wife, who appeared on Oprah along with other women who alleged they'd been battered by their wealthy or high-profile spouses.

The withdrawal comes after a week of scrutiny of decades-old abuse allegations from Puzder's ex-wife, which she has since retracted.


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