WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements today after people close to President-elect Trump confirmed Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc., will be nominated as Secretary of Labor.

“Millions of Americans work hard, play by the rules, and still struggle to make ends meet,” Rep. Ellison said. “Donald Trump’s proposed Labor Secretary wants to make it even harder for families to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table. Andy Puzder wants to roll back labor protections and keep the minimum wage low, which depresses wages for everyone. While he takes home a multi-million-dollar salary, many of his own employees are barely getting by. How can we expect Puzder to do his job and protect workers when his own employees are having their wages stolen? Good jobs and fair wages aren’t in Puzder’s vocabulary. Working people must rise up and fight back against this nomination and continue to demand higher wages, overtime pay, and good benefits. They deserve a fair share of the wealth they are creating in this country.”

“Andy Puzder has proudly exploited working Americans for years, spinning misinformation about why low-wage workers are better off being paid less money, actively criticizing worker rights and opposing the minimum wage,” Rep. Grijalva said. “To say he’s diametrically opposed to the important work of a Labor Secretary is an understatement; to nominate him for that role is to undermine the office. I am deeply concerned for working families, who look to the Secretary of Labor to set policies that will better their lives and ensure they are paid their due. Donald Trump has nominated for this vital position someone who got ahead in life by exploiting workers and undermining any effort to help them advance.”

“Just when we thought Trump’s cabinet couldn’t get any worse, he has chosen a fast food CEO for Secretary of Labor,” said Rep. Pocan. “Andy Puzder has consistently stood on the side of big business and failed to support workers. He made a name for himself by peddling the idea that minimum wage hikes would force fast food companies to replace workers with robots and has consistently opposed attempts to raise wages for individuals living below the poverty line. Sixty percent of Department of Labor (DOL) investigations into Puzder’s businesses found violations of wage and hour laws. Our Labor Secretary should be someone who leads on workers’ rights, not violates them.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.