Several news outlets are reporting that the labor secretary nomination of Andy Puzder will be withdrawn. This follows a message top Senate Republicans sent the White House earlier Wednesday requesting that the White House do so.
Puzder, who never got to his confirmation hearing, was on life support for days. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who chooses his words carefully, wouldn't say yes when asked Tuesday if he was still confident Puzder would be confirmed.
“I’m a strong supporter of Andy Puzder,” McConnell said, “I think he’s uniquely qualified for this job.” He added that he was looking forward to Puzder’s hearing this week, which is scheduled for Thursday.
In other words, McConnell could not wrangle the votes.
EXCLUSIVE: Top Senate Rs have urged the WH to withdraw Puzder nomination. There are 4 firm no votes and up to 12, source says. Next on CNN— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 15, 2017
Two particular scandals have plagued Puzder’s nomination. Like all rich people, Puzder employed an undocumented worker as a housekeeper for a while. He fessed up last week. This is a scandal for one or two nominees for seemingly every new president; some get through, some don’t. Compounding it, though, are newly released details of a 1990 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show during which Puzder’s ex-wife made some startling allegations about abuse by Puzder. The ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, later recanted her allegations, saying she put them forward to gain a leg up in divorce proceedings. But the episode certainly has not helped his nomination.
Puzder's support for immigration reform, too, had been drawing heat from conservatives.
Since his nomination, Puzder has reportedly been uncomfortable with the scrutiny accompanying his nomination. Politico reported in January, quoting an anonymous source, that he “is not into the pounding he is taking, and the paperwork.” And this afternoon, CBS’s Major Garrett reported that Puzder, with Senate math also working as his adversary, was ready to throw in the towel.
News: Source very close to Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder tells me he expects Puzder to withdraw. "He's very tired of the abuse."— Major Garrett (@MajorCBS) February 15, 2017
It should be pointed out, too, that Puzder’s loss of Republican support has little to do with his record of pulverizing low-wage workers as a boss. That was the whole point of considering him! And they would’ve gotten away, too, if it wasn’t for that Oprah. Ah, well. Trump should have no difficulty finding another rich person with a horrendous record on, and future ambitions for, the degradation of working conditions to put in charge of American labor policy.