Biden labor secretary nominee Julie Su faces Senate fight

President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the following labor secretary, Julie Su, will testify to the Senate Thursday with key Democrats unwilling to voice help for her affirmation, creating uncertainty about her prospects within the narrowly divided chamber.

A handful of average Democrats haven’t publicly said whether or not they’ll vote for Su’s nomination forward of her affirmation listening to earlier than the Senate Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions Committee. Biden in February picked Su, a civil rights legal professional and the present deputy labor secretary, to exchange Marty Walsh, the previous mayor of Boston, to guide the Division of Labor.

The daughter of an immigrant mom who arrived on a cargo ship, Su could be the primary Asian American within the Biden administration to serve within the Cupboard on the secretary degree. Biden referred to as her path proof of the “American dream” and that “she’s dedicated to creating positive that dream is in attain for each American.”

Su was beforehand confirmed because the deputy labor secretary, however has confronted opposition from enterprise teams important of her file main California’s labor division. They level to her help of an overturned California regulation that will have required app-based journey hailing and supply firms like Uber and Lyft, in addition to trucking companies, to deal with their employees as workers, offering advantages like paid sick go away and unemployment insurance coverage, moderately than unbiased contractors.

Su has additionally confronted blame for issues on the California Labor and Workforce Improvement Company in the course of the coronavirus pandemic when unprecedented numbers of individuals making use of for unemployment advantages confronted lengthy wait occasions and the state doubtlessly paid out billions of {dollars} in fraudulent claims.

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, Jon Tester and Mark Kelly and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an unbiased, all declined to say whether or not they would vote for her affirmation this week. Democrats can not afford to lose greater than a pair votes in a Senate divided 51-49. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., can also be recovering from shingles in California, with no agency return date.

Manchin repeatedly declined to touch upon Su’s nomination this week; Tester mentioned he would meet together with her after the assembly to “make sure that she’s nonetheless proper”; Kelly mentioned he didn’t have issues about her file however added he doesn’t preview his votes; Sinema mentioned via a spokeswoman that she doesn’t preview votes.

Su was confirmed by the Senate to her present function in 2021 by a 50–47 vote.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski mentioned she voted in opposition to Su’s affirmation in 2021 due to “how she had dealt with the unemployment compensation points within the state of California.”

Prime Democrats, in the meantime, have signaled their help for Su with conferences on the Capitol this week.

At a gathering with Su on Monday, Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, pointed to her work on job development and mentioned, “She’s carried out a superb job and I believe she’s acquired a two-year observe file that’s robust.”

Late final yr, Su was central to negotiations between labor and freight rail firms and helped keep away from an economically debilitating strike. She has additionally led efforts to crack down on wage theft.