Senate panel advances Su for Labor secretary – JP
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to advance Julie Su’s nomination to be Labor secretary, with several senators’ floor votes still in question.
The committee voted 11-10 to advance Su, who took over as acting secretary last month after Marty Walsh’s departure. Enthusiasm for Su among committee Democrats and Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was strong.
“While we have massive income and wealth inequality, the working families of this country, in the Labor Department, are entitled to have a secretary who’s going to stand up and fight for them,” Sanders said. “I think Julie Su, currently, in her role in California and throughout her life has made it clear she’s prepared to stand up for working families.”
Republicans have been firm in their opposition to Su. They criticized her tenure as California’s Labor secretary, blaming her for fraud in the state’s pandemic unemployment program that state officials last year pegged at $20 billion, though outside experts said it could be more than $30 billion.
Committee Republicans also tried to link Su to a 2019 California law that made it more difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors, rather than employees. They used Su’s April 20 confirmation hearing to question whether she had the experience needed to mediate labor disputes that could pose risks to supply chains or the broader economy.