Puzder Confirmation Hearing Could Start Next Week

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By Tyrone Richardson

Labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder’s Senate confirmation hearing could come next week if his disclosure paperwork is processed in time, Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Feb. 7.

“The reason you don’t have a committee hearing is because the Office of Government Ethics has been so busy that they haven’t gotten his papers done yet,” Alexander said. “As soon as we receive the agreement from the office, we will schedule a hearing and that could come as early as next week.”

Puzder’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has been pushed back four times. The HELP Committee on Jan. 31 delayed Puzder’s Feb. 7 hearing, a move a committee aide told Bloomberg BNA was intended to give the nominee more time to submit conflicts-of-interest paperwork.

HELP Committee rules don’t require nominees to finish their OGE review prior to the hearing, but precedent is for members and staffers to access the ethics letter before voting. Puzder is the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc., parent company of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. brands.

Puzder’s confirmation hearing will come amid growing protests against his nomination. That includes controversy voiced by worker advocates and media reports chronicling the CEO’s private-sector background and alleged worker violations.

The HELP Committee is expected to publicly announce the hearing at least seven days in advance.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tyrone Richardson in Washington at trichardson@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Christopher Opfer at copfer@bna.com

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