Trump’s labor secretary pick, fast-food CEO Andy Puzder, will finally get his day in the sun this week: His first Senate confirmation hearing is set for Thursday, and the controversial nominee can expect to face some tough questioning — particularly from Elizabeth Warren.
This morning the Democratic senator from Massachusetts sent Puzder a 28-page letter, the Boston Globe reports, laying out 83 pointed questions for the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. executive:
“My staff’s review of your 16-year tenure . . . reveals that you’ve made your fortune by squeezing the very workers you’d be charged with protecting as Labor Secretary out of wages and benefits,” Warren writes in the opening paragraphs of the letter. She goes on to raise concerns about Puzder’s company’s “record of prolific labor law abuses and discrimination suits” and his own “long record of public comments [that] reveals a sneering contempt for the workers in your stores, and a vehement opposition to the laws you will be charged with enforcing.”
As the Globe notes, each senator present at the hearing will be limited to just a few minutes of questioning, making the letter necessary to lay the groundwork for Warren’s strong distaste for Puzder as labor secretary.
A recent report by the National Employment Law Project estimates that American taxpayers subsidize employees of Puzder’s company, CKE Restaurants, with public assistance to the tune of $250 million each year. Meanwhile, CKE franchisees are facing numerous lawsuits for alleged labor and wage violations. Puzder has also been a vocal opponent to worker benefits such as paid sick leave and the Affordable Care Act, and has spoken out against raising the federal minimum wage above $9.
Senate Democrats haven’t been shy about opposing Puzder, even calling on him to withdraw his candidacy last week — but with only 50 votes needed for confirmation, they’d have to convince at least a few Republicans to vote against Puzder, and that seems unlikely.
• Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Labor Nominee Andy Puzder [Boston Globe]
• Former Hardee’s Employee Paints a Grim Picture of ‘Puzder’s America’ [E]
• Trump’s Labor Secretary Pick Could Be Disastrous for Workers [E]