Four Republican senators are reportedly having serious doubts about Andy Puzder, President Trump's pick for labor secretary. CNN reported Monday that Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Tim Scott (S.C.), and Johnny Isakson (Ga.) have informed GOP leadership they are "withholding support" for the confirmation of the CKE Restaurants CEO. With Republicans holding a narrow 52-48 majority in the Senate, that could spell serious problems for Puzder's confirmation.
As was the case with now-confirmed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Puzder is teetering on the edge of achieving the majority required to confirm a Cabinet nominee. Neither Collins nor Murkowski supported DeVos, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to step in as the tie-breaker. But if two of the four hesitant Republicans cannot be coaxed back into supporting Puzder, not even Pence could save the day.
In that case, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may have to "face the unwelcome task of advising the White House to pull the nomination instead of facing an embarrassing Senate floor defeat," CNN reported. However, CNN noted, Republicans say McConnell is hell-bent on avoiding that scenario and will push hard to get the requisite votes. Several business groups have also joined the effort to get Puzder confirmed.
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Puzder's Senate confirmation hearing is slated for Thursday, after being delayed several times amid pushback from labor rights activists and Puzder's admission he and his wife once employed an undocumented immigrant as a part-time housekeeper.
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