President-elect Donald Trump has selected Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., the company that owns Carl’s Jr, as his Labor Secretary. If Puzder gets confirmed, what can we expect from him as Labor Secretary?
Here are five things you need to know about Puzder.
1. Puzder has extensive experience in business and law. Puzder’s career began in practicing law in St. Louis, and started to shift to business when he saved Carl Karcher — founder of Carl’s Jr. — from financial problems by organizing a financial deal between Karcher and William Foley, CEO of Fidelity National Financial, Inc. Puzder has since served in a myriad of executive business positions, including executive vice president and general counsel for GKE and Fidelity and CEO of Hardee’s Food Systems.
2. The left doesn’t like him. The Wall Street Journal has some quotes from leftists who seem distraught about the prospect of Puzder as Labor Secretary:
“With Mr. Puzder, the fox is in the hen house,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D., Conn.), the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee that oversees funding for the Labor Department. “His nomination represents the greatest assault on workers that we have seen in a generation.
The National Employment Law Project, a union-backed group that advocates for low-wage workers, said Mr. Puzder would take sides against them.
“It’s hard to think of anyone less suited for the job of lifting up America’s forgotten workers,” said NELP Executive Director Christine Owens. “Puzder will be there for his low-wage-industry CEO buddies, who are now salivating over the prospect of rolling back the Obama administration’s efforts to raise pay for low-wage workers, improve workplace safety, and increase corporate accountability.”
The George Soros-funded MoveOn.org released a brief statement on Puzder that read: “So much for draining the swamp.” Allied Progress also released a statement saying that Puzder has “nothing but contempt” for workers.
“Millions of Americans work full-time hours, if not longer, and have second and third jobs but don’t make enough to get by,” the organization stated. “Mr. Puzder’s solution is tax credits rather than government assistance of any kind.”
The fact that the left seems to be up in arms about Puzder is a welcome sign to conservatives.
3. Puzder is opposed to major parts of the left’s agenda. The most notable initiatives that Puzder is opposed to include the Obama administration’s regulations making more workers qualified for overtime pay, Obamacare and raising the minimum wage. Here is what Puzder has had to say on each issue, per the Wall Street Journal:
- “Turning highly sought-after entry level management careers into hourly jobs where employees punch a clock and are compensated for time spent rather than time well spent is hardly an improvement on the path from the working class to the middle class.”
- “The burden these increased health-care costs place on working and middle-class Americans is inexcusable. But Obamacare’s failure is having broader implications for economic growth. With GDP already averaging a mere 2 percent since the recession ended and hovering around 1.5 percent over the past four quarters, we should be making faster growth a political priority. That is not what the Affordable Care Act is doing.”
- “If we are going to increase the minimum wage at all, we’ve got to keep a lower minimum wage for entry-level workers, or these people are just going to be shut out of the workforce….The [Congressional Budget Office] came out with a report last year that said you could raise the minimum wage to about $9 without much impact on jobs, and you probably could do that.”
4. Puzder has more of a lax view on immigration. Puzder supported the Gang of Eight bill in 2013, calling it “a benefit to the U.S. economy.” Puzder has continually advocated for Republicans to pass amnesty, whether it’s adding his name to a letter from a Michael Bloomberg front group supporting amnesty or writing an op-ed with former noted conservative Stephen Moore that read: “We believe that deporting 11 million people is unworkable, and we hope in the end Mr. Trump comes to this same conclusion. Deportation should be pursued only when an illegal immigrant has committed a felony or become a ‘public charge.'” In the Republican primary, Puzder even called for Republicans to adopt the same immigration as Jeb Bush.
Puzder then would be at odds with Trump’s hardline stance on immigration he has campaigned on, which should certainly be of concern to conservatives.
5. Puzder has a pro-life record. When Puzder was an attorney in St. Louis, he provided aid to craft a law that “banned the use of public employees and public facilities in performing abortions,” according to Cosmopolitan. The Supreme Court upheld the law, the first time the Supreme Court ruled that states can restrict abortion access. Puzder eventually teamed up with the man that sued the law to found an organization called the Common Ground Network, where people on both sides of the abortion debate promote alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, and working to prevent pregnancies that aren’t wanted.