West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin had a busy and eventful week. He flirted with the idea of running for president as a third party. Manchin’s presence as a Senator is something we can admire, even if he moves in another direction. In May, we reported that the Democrat was unsure whether he would support Julie Su’s nomination to the position of Secretary of Labor. Su’s nomination is still pending in the Senate, and both Congressional Republicans and Senate Republicans are opposed to it. Su’s nomination is still pending in the Senate, and many Senate Democrats are not saying whether or not they will vote for her. This could indicate that the votes to bring Su to the finish line may be lacking. According to my colleague Brittany Sheehan, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has refused to put Su’s nomination up for a vote on the floor, and 33 Republican Senators have written to President Joe Biden to request that he withdraw Su’s candidacy at the end of June.
Republicans, as previously reported, have called for the withdrawal of her nomination. Last week, 33 Republicans wrote a letter addressed to Biden that stated:
Please confirm that Julie A. Su’s nomination has been withdrawn. We are grateful for your prompt response to our request.
Business and advocacy groups also worked tirelessly in order to bring Su’s failures and misdeeds before the nation. One of these organizations is the International Franchise Association, which recently urged Manchin not to vote for Su’s nomination. It is enough for two Democrats to vote against the nomination and all Republicans to oppose it.
Manchin confirmed on Thursday that he was the Democrat One.
My statement on my decision to oppose the nomination of Julie Su to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor: pic.twitter.com/6utK6u0J78
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) July 13, 2023
I think the person who leads the U.S. Department of Labor must have the ability to work with both the labor movement and the industry to reach compromises that are acceptable to both. Although her qualifications and credentials are impressive, I am concerned that Julie Su’s progressive background will prevent her from being able to do this. For that reason, I cannot support Julie Su’s nomination as Secretary of Labor.
He has gone public.
Su, who was formerly the head of California’s Labor Department and widely criticized for her support of the anti-freelance AB5 laws and gross negligence when it came to overseeing EDD – which lost $40 billion in fraud during the pandemic – cannot lose another Democrat. Su would be doomed if she lost one of the three Democrats who are now on the same side as Manchin.
These three other senators are Kyrsten Siema from Arizona, Mark Warner from Virginia, and John Tester, Montana senator.
The Biden White House may have also signaled that they already knew one of the candidates was getting ready to vote “no” as well.
Politico reports that a Biden official said on Thursday that the president would fight to confirm Su, calling his support “unwavering”.
The same official also added: “We hope Senator Manchin, and Senator Sinema, reconsider their positions.”
Sinema, if POLITICO is right in its quote of the official, is also not on the fence about Su’s nomination. Sinema, while she has not made a public announcement, has met with the restaurant owners in her state. Su’s support for the DOL’s current policies would decimate this industry. This does not bode well for Su’s nomination.
Great to meet with local Arizona restaurant owners to discuss how we can continue working together to ensure restaurants across the state have the resources needed to thrive. https://t.co/WOhQOOYKIs pic.twitter.com/1OOyeucYQE
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) July 10, 2023
The Republican wildcards are Senators Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Susan Collins from Maine. Schumer, for all practical purposes, may not even bring the nomination up to the Senate floor, rather than risk it being rejected. This is why the Biden Administration is trying to keep Su in place as the acting Secretary of Labor, without Senate approval.
From NBC News
Su, the current acting secretary of labor, can continue to run the department. Su is not limited by federal law in how long she can continue to serve as acting secretary of labor without having been confirmed. Su, who was deputy labor secretary under the previous Labor Secretary, can “perform” the duties of the Labor Secretary, as per a 1946 law amended in 1986.
This administration is so on-brand that it cannot be persuaded or pass proper legislation in order to circumvent the nomination process. California Rep. Kevin Kiley is looking into the legality.
Julie Su has been running the Labor Department as “Acting Secretary” for 117 days even though the Senate has declined to confirm her. The legality of this is highly questionable. pic.twitter.com/I1bnlfCejP
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) July 6, 2023
Kiley, Indiana senator Mike Braun and others continue to drum up the idea that Julie Su should not be allowed to fail. The letter from the 33 Senate Republicans stated:
Concerns about her nomination continue to be raised about her track record, her unwillingness to clarify her past positions, and her actions as Secretary of Labor.