House Republican leaders sent a letter to President Biden on Thursday requesting that he withdraw his nomination of Julie Su to become the next U.S. Secretary of Labor.
President Biden announced his nomination of Julie Su to head the Department of Labor (DOL) in February following the resignation of then-Secretary Marty Walsh. Su was confirmed as Biden’s Deputy Secretary of Labor in 2021 on a strict party-line vote and has been the Acting Secretary since Walsh’s departure. Prior to her time in the federal government, Su was the head of California’s scandal-ridden Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s cabinet.
The April 6 letter opposing Su’s nomination was signed by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.); House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.); House Education and Workforce Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.); and members of the California GOP delegation including Reps. Ken Calvert, John Duarte, Darrell Issa, Kevin Kiley, Young Kim, Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock, Jay Obernolte, Michelle Steel, and David Valadao.
“We are deeply concerned by the prospect of Ms. Su serving as the head of DOL on an acting basis or as the Secretary of Labor,” wrote the members of Congress. “We will closely monitor her tenure as Acting Secretary of Labor, and we will strongly oppose her confirmation by the Senate.”
The members highlighted Su’s failures in overseeing California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), which under her watch squandered billions of taxpayer dollars on fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. The letter notes that Su herself “admitted that at least 10 percent of the more than $100 billion in state and federal benefits EDD paid out were fraudulent,” while an independent analysis “estimated total fraud of $32.6 billion when other benefit programs administered by EDD were considered.”
The members also outlined the radical, anti-worker-freedom policies implemented by Su in her home state: “California law AB-5 implemented a statewide ‘ABC test’… Such a test severely restricts the ability of many types of independent workers, including gig workers, to continue doing the work they wanted, in the way they wanted. In fact, the bill’s passage was so unpopular that lawmakers had to carve out dozens of exemptions to favored industries because the law’s requirements were unworkable and unrealistic in today’s economy.”
The letter concludes by requesting that President Biden withdraw Su’s nomination to serve as the next Secretary of Labor.
In addition to the letter from House members, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, recently gave a floor speech criticizing the nomination of Su and her record.
“In California, Ms. Su was a top architect of AB5, a controversial law that removed the flexibility of individuals to work as independent contractors,” said Senator Cassidy. “Ms. Su has taken her support for this anti-worker, pro-union policy to the U.S. Department of Labor.”
When Democrats failed to push similar “ABC test” legislation through the U.S. Congress, the Department of Labor under Su and Walsh began a new scheme to forcibly reclassify independent contractors by executive fiat. ATR provided comments opposing this regulatory change, which is still pending.
If Julie Su is allowed to continue to fail upward, her attacks on independent workers will only increase with her intensified grip on power. All members of Congress should adamantly oppose this radical Department of Labor nominee.