After failing to reject Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary by just a single vote, Democrats turn their attention to President Donald Trump's choice to head the Labor Department, Andrew Puzder, in hopes of blocking a nominee for the cabinet, The Hill reported on Monday.
Democrats think this is their best chance to reject a Cabinet pick, although it remains an uphill battle, and vow to bring up several controversial issues concerning Puzder during his confirmation hearing on Thursday.
One of the main accusations about Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, a fast food conglomerate that owns Hardee's and Carl Jr.'s, is that he does not treat workers fairly.
The Santa Barbra Independent reports that Puzder is an outspoken critic of meaningful minimum wage increases and overtime pay and his companies have agreed to pay more than $150,000 in back wages to employees after allegedly violating labor laws.
The Independent also says that flying in the face of Trump's promise to make protecting American workers a central theme of his campaign is that there have been at least 98 safety violations during Puzder's tenure at CKE Restaurants.
He also admitted to hiring a housekeeper who was an illegal immigrant.
"The idea that Puzder could be in charge of upholding the same laws that he's been breaking is hard to fathom," Kendall Fells, organizing director for the union-led Fight for $15 protests against his nomination, told The Hill.
Adding to his troubles is that Puzder's wife once accused him of domestic violence, although she has since retracted that claim.
Criticism has also come from conservatives who say he would be weak on immigration enforcement and that his restaurants have employed foreign guest workers.
Christian conservatives have also opposed him. CNN reported that Puzder was forced to step down from the board of Thomas Aquinas College in 2003 after the Catholic school said several racy ad campaigns featuring women in bikinis eating burgers that he initiated were contradictory to its values.
However, so far no GOP senators have said they will oppose Puzder, and if all Democrats in the upper chamber vote against him, they will need at least three Republicans to do so as well in order to foil the nomination, The Hill reported.
Senate Republican leaders are firmly behind Trump's nominee, with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander saying: "Puzder is a respected Tennessee business leader who understands how excessive regulation can destroy jobs and make it harder for family incomes to rise.
"I look forward to working with him to create an environment to help create jobs for more Americans."
A Democratic aide told The Hill that Puzder's performance at his confirmation hearing could prove decisive, saying that if he does not perform well it could put some GOP senators in a tough position.
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