According to Axios, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who identifies as a Democrat, has expressed his lack of approval for Julie Su, the newly appointed Labor Secretary under President Joe Biden. Su previously served as the deputy to former Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. This marks another instance where the senator has not backed a nominee put forth by President Biden.
As per Axios, Senator Manchin has conveyed his significant reservations about Julie Su to the Biden administration. If combined with the reluctance of other Democrats and Republicans, his opposition may impede the confirmation procedure.
Senator Manchin has recently rescinded his endorsement for Laura Daniel-Davis, who was nominated by President Biden for the Department of Interior (DOI) position. The senator expressed concerns about political activism and indicated that he would continue to thoroughly examine the qualifications of other Biden nominees.
“Are they political partisans first or Americans first?” Manchin said on Friday. “Let me be clear: If they choose to continue down this path, there will be consequences now and in the future.”
Axios reports that the Republican Party is emphasizing Julie Su's pro-labor union track record, citing instances such as the allocation of approximately $30 billion in unemployment benefits to California inmates during her tenure as the state's labor commissioner. Additionally, Su backed a bill in California that imposed pressure on companies to treat independent contractors similarly to full-time employees.
According to Axios, Senate Democrats who support Julie Su are concerned that Independent Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema might also oppose Su, similar to Senator Manchin. This situation could leave the Democratic majority in a vulnerable position. Senate Republicans are expected to collectively reject the Biden nominee, and if Senators Manchin and Sinema also reject Su, it could hinder her confirmation.
According to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Senator Manchin's spokesperson, Sam Runyon, confirmed that although the senator has voiced his apprehensions about Julie Su, he has not yet decided on his vote regarding her confirmation.
Tanking Biden nominees seems to be Joe Manchin’s favorite pastime https://t.co/Xfgm314nYv
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 13, 2023
Axios has reported that Senator Manchin's rejection of Julie Su and other nominees selected by President Biden will serve as crucial signals in his upcoming re-election, despite the fact that he has not yet declared his candidacy. Representative Alex Mooney and potentially Governor Jim Justice are among the Republicans from West Virginia who have already expressed interest in challenging the senator in 2024.
If Senator Manchin and others block Julie Su's confirmation, it would be the third time that a Biden nominee has been rejected in 2021. As reported by Axios, Gigi Sohn withdrew her nomination for a Federal Trade Commission seat in March, while Phil Washington stepped down from consideration for the head of the Federal Aviation Administration on March 26, both due to opposition from Democrats. It is worth noting that Su narrowly won confirmation as deputy in 2021.
“Julie received unanimous Democratic support for her confirmation as Deputy Secretary of Labor, and we are working diligently towards her successful confirmation as Secretary,” Emilie R. Simons, spokesperson for the White House, said to the DCNF in a released statement.
“Julie is a champion for workers, and has spent her life fighting to make sure that everyone has a fair shot, that no community is overlooked, and that no worker is left behind. Our administration is currently engaged with a broad coalition of supporters on Julie’s nomination, including elected officials, labor leaders, key stakeholders, and business groups.”
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