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Trump's contested pick for labor secretary withdraws

17 February 2017, 02:09 | Darin Griffith

Trump's contested pick for labor secretary withdraws

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference Thursday Feb. 16 2017 in the East Room of the White House in Washington

A day after the dramatic defeat for one of his Cabinet nominees, President Trump is expected to name former US attorney Alexander Acosta as his next pick for labor secretary, according to a White House official.

Four Senate Republicans have told GOP leaders they won't support President Trump's nominee for labor secretary - raising the possibility there won't be enough votes to confirm him, it was reported Wednesday. "The man I will be announcing for labor is a star, a great person, a great person".

If confirmed, he would also be the first Hispanic member of President Trump's cabinet.

Puzder withdrew his nomination Wednesday after pressure from both Democrats and Republicans. "Puzder should never have even been nominated".

"I think he will be a tremendous secretary of labor", Trump said.

Puzder's withdrawal had been widely expected to occur sometime within the next 24 hours, and has now been confirmed by both Fox Business Network and NBC News.

Puzder, the chief executive for CKE Restaurants, said in a statement that he decided not to continue with the confirmation process.

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Acosta, who is the son of Cuban-American immigrants, is the confirmable replacement for Andrew Puzder, who withdrew from consideration amidst growing controversy and dwindling support from Republican Senators.

TVNZ's US Correspondent says Trump is going back on the campaign trail for a 2020 re-election.

Acosta is the Dean at the Florida International University College of Law.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME, who was on the Senate commitee considering Puzder's nomination, told reporters on Monday that she was evaluating the domestic violence accusation. CEO "vowed revenge" after she accused him of domestic abuse.

Besides the workplace conditions at Puzder's restaurants and his opposition to raising the minimum wage, Murray and others also blasted Puzder's defense of racy television ads featuring bikini-clad women that had been aired by his restaurant company.

Puzder denied the allegations, and Fierstein later recanted them.



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