Biden’s Nomination of Su for Labor Secretary Sparks Doubts from Senate

by Lucas Garcia
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Julie Su, President Joe Biden’s pick for Labor Secretary, was praised at her Senate hearing as a “defender of working people”. But some Democrat senators didn’t say if they supported her, which leaves us not knowing if she will get confirmed or not.

A few Democrats haven’t said yet if they will vote to confirm President Biden’s pick, named Su, as the Secretary of Labor. Su is a lawyer and currently works as Deputy Labor Secretary in the Department of Labor. There will be a hearing on Thursday to decide if Su should get this job.

Su is the daughter of a mom who came to America on a ship that transported goods. She may be chosen to become the first Asian American in Biden’s cabinet at a senior position. Biden thinks that Su believes everybody has the same opportunity to achieve their dream.

Su spoke about her parents’ experiences during her testimony – how they were able to make money and move up from being poor by having jobs with benefits and running businesses.

The President asked me to be U.S Secretary of Labor and he called me “the American Dream”. My mom and dad taught me about the American dream and I was lucky enough to benefit from it. Now, I want to make sure that other workers in America can also experience this dream.

She was previously approved as the deputy labor secretary, but some company people were not happy with her past actions when she was leading California’s labor department. The issue these people had with her is that she backed a law in California that would make companies like Uber and Lyft, as well as truck businesses, to treat their workers like employees; so they get benefits like paid sick leave and unemployment allowance, instead of just working with them as independent contractors.

Su has received criticism for issues relating to the pandemic. People applying for unemployment faced long wait times and money from fraudulent claims was paid out. Industry groups have made ads against Su in various states, while unions are trying to support her.

Four senators, three Democrats and one Independent, wouldn’t tell if they would vote to confirm someone this week. This is important because the Senate only has 51 out of 100 members who are Democrats. Also, Senator Dianne Feinstein from California can’t come back to work yet because she has shingles.

Senator Manchin, Tester, Kelly and Sinema all refused to comment on the Su’s nomination for a new role. However, Tester said he will meet with her after their meeting to figure out if she’s still qualified. Kelly added that he didn’t have any worries about her record but wouldn’t say if he was going to vote for her or not. Meanwhile, Sinema said through a spokeswoman that she won’t show how she’d vote either. Before this new nomination, Su got confirmed by the Senate in 2021 with a 50-47 vote.

Senator Manchin was happy with Walsh leading the Department of Labor, but had worries regarding Su’s past.

During her testimony, Su reminded everyone that she and Walsh were asked by Joe Biden to make sure they completed what they had started.

Senator Cassidy, the biggest Republican on the panel, accused Su of being biased in favor of unions when he said: “We need a labor secretary who treats everyone fairly according to labor laws.”

At the beginning of Thursday’s hearing, Senator Bernie Sanders said that the debate over Julie Su has nothing to do with her qualifications. He suggested that this discussion has everything to do with Julie being a supporter of working-class people and that she is willing to take on corporate greed.

At a meeting on Monday, Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia said that Su has done a great job since she started two years ago. Recently, Su helped prevent a strike which could’ve hurt the economy, and she has also worked to stop employers from not paying their workers.

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