WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NAACP released the following statement regarding the nominations of Andrew Puzder and Tom Price for cabinet secretaries:
“The NAACP announces its formal opposition to the nominations of Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor and Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Like Sen. Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos, Puzder and Price’s policy records show an antagonistic and caustic approach to the missions of the agencies they are now seeking to head. Overall, they represent a disturbing pattern of nominees whose combined wealth, detachment from everyday issues progressive policies threatens to exacerbate the increasing levels of inequality in our nation.
As the secretary of labor, Puzder would be required to investigate any minimum wage and overtime conflicts that are brought to the Department of Labor. Puzder’s consistent opposition to raising the federal minimum wage clarifies that he has no interest in improving everyday life for working-class citizens. Puzder has also publicly opposed a revised overtime rule, paid sick leave for federal government contractors and the Affordable Care Act. As the CEO of CKE restaurants, Puzder has seen some of his restaurants be investigated by the Department of Labor. Many privately-owned CKE restaurants in addition to some CKE-operated restaurants were found to have violated wage and hour legislation by the Department of Labor. It is unrealistic to expect someone who has violated labor laws with their own employees to enforce these laws for all workers in America.
The NAACP also opposes the nomination of Rep. Tom Price as HHS secretary based on his consistent record of disdain for policies that beneficial to communities of color. While, the secretary of HHS is expected to preserve the health of every person in this country, Rep. Price has made it apparent repeatedly that he is not willing to do so. Although President Trump promised not to alter Medicaid and Medicare, Rep. Price refused to verify that this was still the case at his confirmation hearing. He has attempted to make Medicaid a block grant program which could lead to fewer low-income people having access to health coverage. As chair of the House budget committee, Rep. Price proposed over a billion dollars in cuts for Medicaid and Medicare combined. Rep. Price has made it his mission to take benefits away from the people who need it most. We cannot allow him to be confirmed as he will push this agenda while serving under the current administration.
These two nominees have repeatedly shown that they have no interest in doing what is best for all Americans and thus the NAACP stands against their nominations in the best interests of our communities and those committed to an inclusive society. We encourage you to contact your senators to ask them to vote against Andrew Puzder, Rep. Tom Price, Betsy DeVos and Senator Jeff Sessions. This country needs cabinet members willing to do what is best for the public. We urge the Trump administration to nominate qualified individuals who are committed to protecting the well-being of all Americans.”