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Hearing for labor secretary nominee postponed

Associated Press

The confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump’s choice to head the Labor Department has again been postponed.

A spokeswoman for the Senate panel that had been set to hold Andrew Puzder’s hearing Feb. 7 said the fast food CEO’s financial and other statements have not been filed to the panel. No new date for the session has been set.

It’s at least the third postponement for the head of CKE Restaurants, Inc. The company owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.

Union leaders and Democrats say Puzder is ill-suited to head the Cabinet agency that enforces protections for workers. Puzder is against much of their agenda, including a big hike in the minimum wage.

AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka said in a letter to senators Tuesday that Puzder’s nomination “betrays the promise (Trump) made to put working people first.”

He added that Puzder’s record as CEO of CKE Restaurants, could risk government protections on overtime and worker safety. He noted that Puzder is opposed to a big hike in the minimum wage and could “torpedo” pay rules on certain federal contracts.

Trump nominated Puzder on Dec. 9.

SBA nominee advances

A Senate panel has voted favorably for the nomination of former wrestling entertainment executive Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration.

The 18-1 vote from the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee moves McMahon’s nomination to the full Senate for consideration. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has cast the lone “no” vote.

McMahon is the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment. She ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut but has remained active in politics as a donor to Republican candidates and causes.

The Small Business Administration helps people get training and financing to start or expand their company. McMahon says she’ll make it a priority to review the agency’s disaster assistance programs.

McMahon has emphasized her business roots helping to getting the wrestling business up and running and eventually employing more than 800 people.

Interior, Agriculture nominees get nod

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has backed Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for Interior secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Energy secretary.

President Donald Trump’s nominees met little resistance in the panel Tuesday morning. The committee voted 16-6 for Zinke and 16-7 for Perry.

The nominations now go to the full Senate.

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