Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is unimpressed by President Joe Biden’s new Labor Secretary appointee Julie Su – the deputy to resigned Labor Secretary Marty Walsh – making for yet another Biden nominee the senator has not supported, according to Axios.
Manchin has relayed his deep concerns about Su to the Biden administration, and his opposition, paired with other Democratic and Republican reluctance, could hinder the confirmation process, Axios reported. The senator recently withdrew his support for Laura Daniel-Davis, Biden’s Department of Interior (DOI) appointee, citing worries of political activism, and noted he’d continue to heavily scrutinize Biden appointees.
“Are they political partisans first or Americans first?” Manchin said Friday. “Let me be clear: If they choose to continue down this path, there will be consequences now and in the future.”
The GOP is focusing on Su’s pro-labor union record, like the roughly $30 billion in unemployment benefits allotted to California criminals during her time as the state’s labor commissioner, according to Axios. Su also supported a California bill that pressured companies to treat independent contractors like full-time workers.
Su-backing Senate Democrats fear that Independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema could join Manchin in his disapproval of Su, leaving their Democratic majority vulnerable, according to Axios. The Senate Republicans will likely unanimously oppose the Biden nominee, and Manchin and Sinema’s opposition could curb Su’s confirmation.
Though Manchin has expressed his concerns over Su, he “has not made a decision” as to how he will vote in her confirmation, Sam Runyon, spokesperson for Manchin, confirmed with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Manchin’s disapproval of Su and other Biden nominees will be important indicators come his upcoming reelection, though he has not yet announced a run, Axios reported. The senator has already drawn some Republican West Virginia challengers for 2024 like Rep. Alex Mooney and possibly Gov. Jim Justice.
A senatorial block of Su, who barely won confirmation as deputy in 2021, would make for the third defeat of a Biden nominee this year. Gigi Sohn withdrew her nomination for an open seat on the Federal Trade Commission in early March and Phil Washington bowed out of his opportunity to head the Federal Aviation Administration on March 26, according to Axios; both withdrew due to Democratic opposition.
“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, told the DCNF in a 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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