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Trump Labor pick Puzder's hearing could be delayed until February

Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, exits after his meeting with president-elect Donald Trump at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.
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Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, exits after his meeting with president-elect Donald Trump at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

Donald Trump's Labor Secretary choice Andy Puzder may not face the Senate until February as lawmakers shuffle the schedule for some key appointee hearings.

Puzder, chief executive of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's parent CKE Restaurants, was originally scheduled to testify on Jan. 17 before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which is chaired by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. Puzder's hearing will be moved and may not happen until next month after Trump Education Secretary pick Betsy DeVos' hearing was delayed to the same day, an Alexander aide said.

DeVos was set to appear before the committee on Wednesday, and the aide said her hearing was moved back "to accommodate the Senate schedule" rather than due to specific Democratic pressure. Rep. Mike Pompeo, Trump's CIA director pick, also had his hearing delayed from Wednesday to Thursday.

Democrats have pushed for hearing delays after complaining that some nominees have not completed and submitted required paperwork. They have also said that FBI background checks are not complete.

A Democratic Senate aide told NBC News the DeVos and Pompeo hearings were delayed after negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

The week was loaded with Trump nominee hearings:

  • Sen. Jeff Sessions' two-day confirmation hearing for attorney general started Tuesday.
  • Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly's hearing for Homeland Security secretary began Tuesday.
  • Secretary of State choice Rex Tillerson's hearing will start Wednesday.
  • Transportation Secretary pick Elaine Chao's hearing will take place Wednesday.
  • Housing and Urban Development secretary choice Ben Carson's hearing is Thursday.
  • Commerce secretary pick Wilbur Ross' hearing will take place Thursday.