Joe Manchin Delivers Knife to the Back That Could Kill Julie Su's Secy of Labor Nomination

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has had a busy week, most recently flirting with a third-party presidential run. But one thing we can appreciate about Manchin is that he is present as a senator, even when he is making moves in other directions. As RedState reported in May, the Democrat has been on the fence about whether he would vote in support of the nomination of Julie Su to ascend to the Secretary of Labor role. As RedState has also reported, Su’s nomination continues to languish in the Senate and faces opposition from both Congressional and Senate Republicans. Many of the Senate Democrats have been mum on whether they plan to vote for Su, indicating the votes may not be present to get her over the finish line. As my colleague Brittany Sheehan wrote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is still refusing to bring Su’s nomination forward for a floor vote, while 33 Republican senators wrote to President Joe Biden at the end of June requesting he rescind Su’s bid.


As previously reported, Republicans have been calling for her nomination to be withdrawn, with 33 penning a letter to Biden last week that read:

Given this present state of affairs, we respectfully urge you to withdraw the nomination We appreciate your responsiveness to this request and ask for prompt confirmation that the nomination of Julie A. Su is formally withdrawn.

Business and advocacy groups have also worked tirelessly to keep Su’s failure and malfeasance in front of the nation. The International Franchise Association is one of those organizations, and they recently urged Manchin to vote against the nomination. All that is required is two Democrats and all Republicans to remain opposed for the nomination to be dead on arrival.

On Thursday, Manchin confirmed that he is that Democrat One.

I believe the person leading the U.S. Department of Labor should have the experience to collaboratively lead both labor and industry to forge compromises acceptable to both parties. While her credentials and qualifications are impressive, I have genuine concerns that Julie Su’s more progressive background prevents her from doing this and for that reason I cannot support her nomination to serve as Secretary of Labor.

He’s gone public.

The loss of Manchin means Su – formerly in charge of California’s labor department and widely reviled for her advocacy of the anti-freelance AB5 law and her gross negligence in overseeing the EDD, which lost $40 billion to fraud during the pandemic – cannot lose another Democrat. At least three other are on the same fence Manchin just left and losing one would sink Su.


Those three others are Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, and Montana Senator John Tester.

It is also possible the Biden White House signaled they may already know one of them may already getting ready to vote “No” as well.

According to Politico, a Biden official on Thursday said the president would continue to fight for Su’s confirmation, calling his support for her “unwavering.

But the same official added, “We hope Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema reconsider their position.”

If POLITICO’s quote of the official is correct, then Sinema is also off the fence and a firm NO to Su’s nomination. While Sinema has made no public announcement, she has been meeting with her state’s restaurant owners. This industry would be greatly decimated if the current DOL policies are enacted with Su’s help, so this show of support and partnership with her state’s economic engines does not portend well for supporting Su’s nomination.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Maine Senator Susan Collins are always the Republican wildcards. But for all intents and purposes, Schumer may not bring the nomination to the floor rather than suffer the possibility of it being voted down, which is why the Biden administration is working to keep Su installed as acting Secretary of Labor without Senate approval.


From NBC News:

But Su, who currently serves as the acting labor secretary, could just keep running the department anyway. Federal law places no limits on how long Su can serve as acting labor secretary without being confirmed. A 1946 law, amended in 1986, permits the deputy labor secretary, which Su served as under the previous head, to “perform the duties of the Secretary until a successor is appointed.” The rule is unique to the Labor Department — many other federal job openings are governed by the Vacancies Act, which requires replacements for certain federal agencies within a time constraint of 210 days.

It is so on brand for this administration that cannot win anything through persuasion or proper legislation to do an end-run around the nomination process. California Rep. Kevin Kiley and the Education & Workforce Protections Committee is investigating the legality of this move.

Kiley, Indiana Senator Mike Braun, and others continue to beat the drum that Julie Su is incompetent to lead and should not be allowed to fail up. As the letter written by the 33 Senate Republicans said,

 Her track record and unwillingness to provide clarity to her past positions and the actions she would take as Secretary of Labor continue to raise concerns about her nomination.



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