- Andrew Puzder, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Labor, has given $1.3 million to Republican causes and candidates since 1990, including contributions to several senators who will vote to confirm his appointment, Bloomberg BNA reports.
- Bloomberg sourced Puzder's contribution history from the Center for Responsive Politics, an independent, non-partisan research organization. Since 1990, the DOL secretary nominee gave amounts ranging from $32,400 to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to $1,000 to Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). Puzder has given to just one Democrat: Sen. Barbara Feinstein (D-CA).
- A Trump campaign spokesperson told Bloomberg that "it's not unusual for nominees to be politically active," saying Puzder's contributions are par for the course for both parties. Bloomberg cites George Washington University law professor Sarah Binder as saying that such large amounts were common for cabinet picks, but less so for DOL nominees. Binder called the number of Trump's millionaire and billionaire nominees "unusual."
Puzder's contributions are also less surprising for political observers, who have already pointed to his pro-business positions on labor policy. His views are compatible with those of GOP members in Congress. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson also faced questions about his political contributions.
The ethical value of Puzder's donations are of course subject to debate, but HR departments should watch his nomination process closely. So far, Senate confirmation hearings for cabinet level positions have been anything but straightforward. Lawmakers have asked incisive questions, revealing potential riffs between what Trump has said and the convictions of his nominees.
Trump's campaign stoked deliberation around jobs and immigration reform, two issues that a Puzder-led DOL would certainly be involved in confronting. Of particular concern are the H-1B visa program and minimum wage increases.