Biden Bypasses Senate Confirmation in Labor’s Julie Su – The American Spectator
Without a confirmation vote by the U.S. Senate, acting Labor Secretary Julie Su can remain in her post atop the Labor Department, according to a Sept. 21 ruling by the Government Accountability Office.
“As the Deputy Secretary of Labor, Ms. Su may serve as Acting Secretary under section 552 until a successor is appointed,” GAO general counsel Edda Emmanuelli Perez explains. “The Vacancies Act’s time limitations do not apply to her service.” This ruling is bad news for American workers and taxpayers alike.
Su served as California labor commissioner and supported Assembly Bill 5, a frontal assault on workers’ independence. The measure primarily targeted independent truckers and rideshare drivers, but there was more to it. AB-5 also limited freelance writers, photographers and videographers to 35 submissions per publication, per year.
The 2020 Proposition 22 rolled back some of the bill’s provisions, and, last June, Su told the House Committee on Education and Workforce, “I don’t remember how I voted on that.” As this author reported at the time, Su denied that she was “involved in drafting AB-5” but “later conceded that she had given technical advice on the measure.”
When “asked if AB-5 was a good law,” Su said, “I don’t know what you mean.” Californians know full well what she is about.
Su headed California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), which oversees the Employment Development Department (EDD) responsible for unemployment claims. On Su’s watch, the EDD sent more than $31 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims to California, out of state, and out of country.
In 2020 alone, Su confirmed, as reported by the California Globe, “fraudsters stole at least $11.4 billion in unemployment benefits from California.” As it happens, fraud was not a new problem at the EDD.
California’s state auditor reported that the “EDD had no comprehensive plan for how it would respond if California experienced a recession and UI claims increased accordingly.” Su had failed “to modernize the EDD’s woefully outdated EDD technology,” the Washington Examiner reports, and, in the early days of the pandemic, suspended eligibility requirements for EDD claims. Convicted criminals took full advantage.
According to USA Today, “the state approved more than $140 million for at least 20,000 prisoners.” Convicts who made fraudulent claims included convicted murderers Scott Peterson and Cary Stayner. Death row inmates accounted for at least 158 claims landing more than $420,000 in benefits.
Nuke Bizzle, a rapper, even admitted his crime on video in song. Scammers filed hundreds of fake claims, “including one in the name of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein,” according to KRON4. While this massive fraud carried on unchecked, legitimate claimants waited months to collect the benefits they deserved.
Asked in June “if she accepted responsibility for more than $30 billion in unemployment fraud,” Su replied, “I think an unemployment insurance system that truly delivers in times of crisis should be the goal of everybody.” This evasive nominee recalls Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden’s pick for the U.S. Treasury Department’s comptroller of the currency.
A Moscow State University alum and Soviet apologist, Omarova “want[ed] the Federal Reserve to control every American’s money.” Based on her record, Sen. Tim Scott could think of nobody “more poorly suited” for the comptroller job than Omarova.
The same could be said about incompetent, unaccountable Julie Su, an anti-worker ideologue. According to the GAO, she can stay in the top Labor Department post without Senate confirmation. That effectively cuts out the voters and sets a poor precedent.
Now, should some federal secretary depart, the president need only appoint an “acting” replacement. According to the Government Accountability Office, that person can avoid Senate confirmation and remain on the job, regardless of their suitability for the post.
That is certain to please Joe Biden, who, in 2019, tweeted, “I’m pleased the CA Legislature passed AB5.” If American workers thought that was why Biden picked Julie Su for labor boss, it would be hard to blame them.
Lloyd Billingsley is a policy fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif.