NEW: Workforce Protections Committee Bill Would Scrap Biden Labor Dept. 'Forever Nominees' Like Su

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

It’s been a long and winding trail, the path the Biden administration’s nomination for embattled Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su as Labor Department secretary has taken.

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It was only under threat of a subpoena that Su appeared in front of the House Workforce Committee and even then, she fell on her face repeatedly, as my colleague Jennifer Oliver O’Connell wrote:

The Congressional members of the Workforce Committee did ask tough questions about Su’s role in California’s AB5, and the $32 billion unemployment fraud that happened on her watch as the state’s Labor Secretary. Su’s testimony glaringly showed why she attempted to wriggle out of this hearing.

Ill-prepared, and flustered by questions that she should have been able to easily answer, Su bumbled, stumbled, and produced word salad statements about “the government’s role,” and “bona fide independent contractors,” which failed to address the issues of why someone who had failed the people of California would not bring the same failure to the nation’s workforce infrastructure.

Even after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) made it clear back in June that he would be voting no, all but dooming the Su nomination, the Biden administration and Democrats began throwing out signals that they believe they have has the authority to keep Su in the acting secretary role without congressional approval, Now, it’s a sure thing that the Dems don’t have the votes. On Wednesday, O’Connell wrote in a follow-up piece:

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Apparently, Senate Democrats and the Biden administration have decided that they want to keep Su around indefinitely. Whether through laziness or ideological doggedness, the Biden administration plans to leave Su in place as Acting Secretary of Labor until after the 2024 election, using a legal statute specific only to the Department of Labor, which is a problem in and of itself.

RedState also shared Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA)’s reaction to the administration’s tactic:

Rep. Kevin Kiley’s response to this maneuver is, “Not on my watch.”

We have achieved our goal of persuading the Senate to reject Julie Su for Secretary of Labor. The White House has acknowledged that Senators Sinema and Manchin are opposed; therefore, she won’t be confirmed.

So mission accomplished? Not quite: Biden has decided to keep Su at the helm of the Labor Department without being confirmed. As Bernie Sanders candidly explained, “I hope she has the votes to become the secretary. If not, of course, she should stay where she is.”

Even for Biden, this affront to the Constitution is stunning. I called out his lawlessness in no uncertain terms on the House Floor.

Kiley, the chairman of the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee,is joined in his pushback by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who heads the Education and the Workforce Committee, along with likeminded GOP Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy. O’Connell wrote:

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According to a historical analysis by the Congressional Research Service prepared for Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who is the ranking member on the HELP Committee that fielded Su’s nomination, her time without a confirmation vote is historic.

Now, Kiley and Foxx have jointly introduced a new bill to quash Su’s nomination—and that of any future Democrat administration that acts as an ally to Big Labor. Before I share the main part of the press release on the Department of Labor Succession Act, the full scope of how “historic” the length of Su’s nomination was is included, also: (emphasis mine)

On July 20, 2023, Julie Su became the longest serving cabinet nominee—when the same party controls the White House and the Senate—since 1887. The press dubbed Su “Biden’s forever nominee.”

Here’s the release:

WASHINGTON – Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Kiley (R-CA) and Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) today introduced H.R. 4957, the Department of Labor Succession Act. The bill clarifies federal law to ensure that the tenure of an Acting Secretary of Labor aligns with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (Vacancies Act).

Kiley and Foxx both spoke about the bill. Rep. Foxx said:

Su’s pathway to confirmation has stalled. For the sake of job creators and working Americans, Biden must pull Su. Instead, he has stretched the law to bypass a Senate confirmation process. Par for the course for a president accustomed to flouting the law to get his way.

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Indeed. And Rep. Kiley summed up well why Su cannot be allowed to be in charge of overseeing our nation’s workforce—ever:

Su faces bipartisan congressional opposition over losing $32.6 billion in taxpayer funds to fraud and for championing policies that destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of independent workers. Our legislation will prevent Su from indefinitely serving in defiance of Congress and taking her record of failure in California nationwide.

You can find the full text of the bill here.

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