February 12, 2017
Senate Democrats flew a restaurant worker all the way from Los Angeles to Washington on Thursday, to help them portray President Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary not only as “unqualified,” but also as someone who steals money from workers; looks the other way when workers are sexually harassed; forces people to work for free; punishes them for calling in sick; and fights against raising the minimum wage.
The restaurant worker told a news conference on Thursday that nominee Andy Puzder, the owner of Carl’s Jr. and Hardees, “is one of America’s worst fast-food CEOs.” (The worker also mentioned that she joined a lawsuit against Puzder’s restaurants just two weeks ago.)
“Puzder called us the worst of the worst and the bottom of the pool. I work myself to the bone just to survive. Why would we want someone who think so little of workers in charge of policies that could impact all of us?” the allegedly victimized woman asked.
On Thursday, Schumer told the same news conference, “It’s disgraceful to put ‘secretary of labor’ and ‘Puzder’ in the same sentence, given his views.”
Schumer said Democrats are “doing everything we can to stop these awful nominees, whether it’s staying late and speaking (on the Senate floor); whether it’s holding press conferences; whether it’s going on Facebook live where we had huge turnout last night; or whether it’s demanding when the record is so abysmal.”
Schumer said Democrats hope they can force the withdrawal of Puzder’s nomination, but even if they can’t, it’s all about laying the groundwork to stymie the Trump administration:
“But whether we do or not, we think we have done a real service to America,” he said. “We have shown who these Cabinet nominees are. Every time (Education Secretary) Betsy DeVos does something now that might hurt public education, there’s going to be millions of Americans looking over her shoulder. Every time (Attorney General) Jeff Sessions hurts immigrants or voting rights, there are going to be millions of Americans looking over his shoulder.
“Because we’ve laid the predicate for who these nominees are. And we’re very, very — pleased is the wrong word, because we wish they had never gotten to these positions, but we think we’ve been very effective in showing who they are and putting some constraints on their actions and on the president’s actions in future years.”
“And, you know, once these nominees, once we get through these nominees, whether beating them, withdrawing, or moving forward, we’re going to begin our campaign on Trump’s broken promises. Almost every one of these nominees indicates a broken promise to the working people of America.”