Julie Su Has to Wait Until After Senate Recess

Many point to not only her EDD disaster but the state’s myriad other problems and clear

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The tortured path of Julie Su’s journey to be Joe Biden’s Secretary of Labor is riven with potholes, politics, and the PRO Act.

In the past week, Su was praised by some for helping broker a tentative end to the west coast port slowdown.  On the downside, the independent truckers set their phasers on blast – again – and 33 senators asked Biden to withdraw her nomination.

And now, she’ll have to wait until after the Senate recess ending July 7 to even have a chance to schedule a nomination confirmation vote by the full Senate.

As to the port deal, not just Biden praised Su for doing whatever it is she did to bring the two sides together. LA Port Executive Director Gene Seroka lauded Su’s performance, saying she “delivered” and deserves a quick vote to confirm her.  Of course, he said pretty much the same thing about a month ago, so exactly how much that matters is questionable.

And longtime ally and California Federation of Labor leader Lorena Gonzalez chimed in about the port deal, adding that “(H)er decades of work in the Golden State are beyond comparison.”

Gonzalez may actually be correct in her assessment (for once) as Su’s stewardship of the Employment Development Department during the pandemic was truly “beyond comparison” since no one had lost $40 billion in taxpayer money to fraud before.

Su and Gonzalez go way back, as Gonzalez was the author (before she moved from the legislature to her current union chief gig) of AB 5, the notorious anti-freelance bill Su zealously enforced.

In a recent Congressional hearing, Su said she merely enforced the law a few minutes before she admitted she actually helped write it.

One of the real fears of the businesses that have come together to fight Su is that she will push AB-5-type regulations through bureaucratic means on a federal level, even if the PRO Act itself never actually passed by Congress.

Currently, Su’s fate lay in the hands – most likely – of five senators: Democrats Manchin of West Virginia, Tester of Montana, and Kelly of Arizona, Independent Sinema, also of Arizona, and Republican Murkowski of Alaska.  The remaining Republicans are steadfastly opposed while the other Democrats are behind Su, though maybe with not quite the fervor the Republican opposition.

If Su loses two of those four senators, she will not get the job.

Manchin is most likely to vote no, for both political and policy reasons.  In fact, he and other senators (from both parties) demanded Su fix problems with an overseas worker visa program known as H2-B.  Earlier in her confirmation process, Su faced another worker visa scandal when one of her own employees referred to a different worker program the “equivalent to the purchase of humans.”  

In other words, irking one of the people who can keep you from getting a job may not be a good idea.

Tester and Sinema are most likely far more worried about the politics of the nomination as both are facing are tough re-elections fights in states that may not be terribly Su-supportive; while Arizona may be a bit “purple” of late, Montana is no other shade than red.

Murkowski is murkier. She has not voted for Su in the past (recent committee vote, 2021’s full Senate vote to confirm her as deputy labor secretary, her current actual job) but she is widely known around DC for being relatively amenable to a bit of wheeling and dealing with Biden and the Democrats to secure stuff – anything, really – for her home state of Alaska.

In the past 20 or so years, Alaska has received far more per-capita in federal “earmarks” and other specifically dedicated federal project funding than any other state.  Murkowski is following in the footsteps of her father, Sen. Frank Murkowski, who appointed her to his senate seat when he became governor in 2002, who was also (along with pretty much every other Alaska pol in DC) for “bringing home the bacon.”

That history could play a role in Murkowski’s ultimate decision.

Su has also faced other recent allegations that have played a part in stalling the nomination process, failing to properly curtail migrant childhood labor.

Finally, a consistent theme of Su’s opposition has been about her home state of California, with many pointing to not only the EDD disaster but the state’s myriad other problems and clear precipitous decline of late.  

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe



  2. JLSeagull says

    Hey, Su is an Asian, female, incompetent Democrat. Perfectly qualified for Biden’s cabinet. She’ll fit in just fine with all the other morons.

    It’s time to contact Sen’s Manchin, Tester and Sinema and tell them what a fine job her AB5 did at throwing tens of thousands of gig workers out of jobs.

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