Justin Miller

 Justin Miller is a senior writing fellow for The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Puzder’s Out, But Acosta Raises Questions

Trump’s new, more-traditional labor secretary nominee is still a hardline conservative—and labor advocates have questions. 

AP/Alan Diaz Former U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta talks to reporters during a news conference in Miami, in 2008. L ess than 24 hours after celebrating former labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder’s withdrawal, labor advocates are now scrambling to get up to speed on Trump’s new nominee, Alexander Acosta, officially nominated at a press conference Thursday afternoon. President Trump announced that he thinks Acosta will make a “tremendous secretary of labor,” but made no mention of Puzder’s failed nomination. On the surface, the administration seems to have learned its lesson after putting forward a controversial fast-food executive with a long record of incendiary anti-worker comments and a hostile view of government regulations. Puzder’s nomination was met with broad-based opposition from progressive advocacy and labor groups, who saw him as a nominee directly at odds with the mission of the labor department, and a finger in the eye—rather than a champion—of working people. Acosta,...

Jeb Hensarling: Trickle Downer of the Week

Wall Street’s favorite congressman wants to gut consumer protections. 

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP Chairman Jeb Hensarling runs the House Financial Services Committee meeting to organize for the 115th Congress on Feb. 2, 2017. trickle-downers.jpg T he Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s aggressive regulatory and enforcement mission, crafted as a part of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, has long drawn the ire of congressional Republicans who are eager undermine its power and independence—and with a deregulatory fanatic as president, they may now have their best shot. Leading that charge is House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, whose Wall Street deregulation bill—the Financial CHOICE Act—forms the GOP’s blueprint for winding back Dodd-Frank. In a memo obtained by The New York Times last week, Hensarling outlined his plan to eviscerate the CFPB’s power. In a follow-up interview this week, the Texas congressman called the CFPB a “rogue, unconstitutional” agency. “I want to protect consumers from the Orwellian-named Consumer Finance...

Will Puzder Be the First to Fall?

Inside the battle to resist Trump’s ‘Anti-Labor Secretary’ nominee.

AP/Jack Plunkett CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder speaks at a news conference on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 in Austin, Texas. O n December 8, news broke that Trump would nominate Andy Puzder, the CEO of the company that owns the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s burger chains, to lead the Department of Labor. Since then, revelations about his controversial track record of comments and actions have painted a picture of a man whose every breath runs counter to the labor department’s mission: “ To foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.” Puzder’s Senate confirmation hearing has been delayed four times—allowing his opponents to build up a long dossier and prompting rumors that he was getting cold feet. He has denied those rumors, and after finally filing his financial paperwork with the Office of Government...

Q&A: Tom Perez Makes His Case

The former labor secretary talks about why he’s the person who can turn around the Democratic Party. 

Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post Tom Perez speaks during a debate for Democratic National Committee chair hosted by the Huffington Post at George Washington University in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. A s labor secretary, Tom Perez turned the Labor Department from a backwater federal agency into a powerhouse player in advancing President Obama’s second-term agenda. Before that, he took a demoralized Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and brought it back to life. Now he’s running to be the Democratic National Committee Chair as he tries to make the case that he can perform a similar turnaround on the party’s languishing machinery. Perez and Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison are considered the frontrunners amid a field of several other candidates. Usually a more under-the-radar position, the chair race has turned into a battle (albeit a mostly cordial one) over progressive bona fides, party vision, organizing chops, and political allegiances. On February 25, 447...

Q&A: How Democrats Can Win the Voter Suppression Argument

Jason Kander, a rising Democratic star, is leading a new organization that hopes to turn the tables on Republican voter suppression. 

AP/Orlin Wagner Democrat Jason Kander gives his concession speech at an election watch party in Kansas City after losing to Senator Roy Blunt. O n the national stage, nobody really knew who Democrat Jason Kander was until last fall, when his upstart campaign against Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt ran an ad of the U.S. Army veteran assembling an AR-15 rifle blindfolded, while explaining why he supports background checks for gun purchases. It quickly went viral and became one of the most successful campaign ads of the 2016 cycle. Although he lost his race, Kander came within just a few points of Blunt in a state that Trump carried by nearly 20 points. He was quickly tabbed as a rising Democratic star. After the election, Kander, who had served as the Missouri secretary of state for the past four years, admonished state Republican legislators for passing photo ID legislation in 2016. “I know some folks here and across the state try to pretend other elections issues would be solved...

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