[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sen. Maggie Hassan voted to advance Julie Su’s nomination in the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is expected to back Su’s nomination if it comes to the floor of the Senate for a vote.]
Pressure is mounting in the Senate for President Biden to withdraw his nomination of Julie Su for secretary of labor — and for good reason. Su has a long history of supporting policies that would harm businesses.
During her tenure as California’s labor secretary, Su oversaw the largest unemployment fraud in the state’s history. Under her watch, the Employment Development Department (EDD) wasted nearly $40 billion in fraudulent claims, leaving many struggling to make ends meet. To make matters worse, more than $1 billion of those claims were sent to criminals, including death row inmates.
Thanks to Su’s negligence, the EDD owes the federal government $17 billion for money borrowed during the pandemic.
Su’s record of incompetence expands far beyond her failures with EDD. Su was a vocal advocate for the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). This unique law allows employees to sue their employers on behalf of the state for labor violations, costing California billions of dollars.
PAGA resulted in a flood of frivolous lawsuits, many of which are as minor as typos on a pay stub. PAGA has been a major headache for businesses, driving up costs and making hiring and retaining workers more difficult. In some cases, the penalties can be more than the business’s annual profits.
Su has also supported California Assembly Bill 5, which attempted to reclassify independent contractors as W-2 employees, making it impossible for independent contractors to function successfully in the state.
Su’s support for anti-worker, anti-business policies is just the beginning, and Americans are right to be concerned she will bring these harmful policies to the rest of the nation.
Biden has also called Su “a champion for workers.” However, Su’s record suggests that she is more interested in advancing her political agenda than in protecting workers’ rights.
For example, she has argued that the minimum wage should be raised to $15 per hour, even though this would devastate many small businesses. She has also supported unionization efforts, even though these efforts often lead to strikes and other disruptions that harm workers and consumers.
Another significant concern is Su’s lack of substantial private-sector experience. While it’s not a requirement for the secretary of labor to have direct business experience, an understanding of the challenges employers face is essential in effectively advocating for workers’ rights while promoting economic growth.
The role of the secretary of labor is crucial in ensuring a balance between workers’ rights and the interests of businesses. It is vital to appoint someone who can navigate this delicate relationship while fostering a thriving economy.
Unfortunately, Su, with her questionable track record and policy positions, would be a detriment to businesses if confirmed as secretary of labor. Her past actions and beliefs suggest a lack of understanding of the needs of businesses, which could result in harmful consequences for the economy and job market.
Simply put, Su is not up for the job.
Republican senators are right to ask Biden to withdraw this nomination. While Democrats have been able to stall her confirmation for months, the country’s mounting economic issues continue. They deserve a leader who will tackle them head-on with Americans’ best interest in mind.
President Biden: Don’t let Julie Su fail the United States like she failed California.