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Joe Manchin May Help Tank Another Biden Admin. Nominee

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been sending out a whole lot of reminders that he's willing to work with his Republican colleagues, perhaps in hopes he'll hold onto his seat next year, if he does run for reelection. He may now help tank President Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Labor, Julie Su, though he's not the only one to express concern with her nomination. 


Su will have her confirmation hearing with the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee next week, on April 20. According to sources mentioned in an Axios report, described as "people familiar with the situation," Manchin has expressed reservations about her nomination. 

Reporting from The Washington Post mentioned that a "former Biden administration official said that Manchin’s hesitation on Su’s nomination probably had more to do with appealing to constituents in West Virginia than any specific qualm on how she would lead," though the official is not named. 

It's not merely West Virginia voters who appear opposed to Su. The recently formed Stand Against Su coalition has highlighted a whole host of reasons as to why she should not be confirmed. 

Su previously served as the Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency from 2019 to 2021. Concerns abound with how she carried out her role, including her support for California's AB 5, which has companies treat independent contractors as full-time workers. When she was office, California also experienced a loss of jobless benefits due to fraud during the pandemic. 


"In total, nearly $40 billion was stolen from taxpayers in the form of fraudulent unemployment payments. Su was named in the state audit for her failed leadership which led to this unprecedented failure," the Stand Against Su website highlights, also pointing to how the long-term consequences of her failures mean higher taxes for Californians.

Other concerns raised by the coalition include her wanting to eliminate the tipped minimum wage, stance on border security, and how her "hatred of capitalism is evident in her anti-business rhetoric and record[.]"

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who is also up for reelection in 2024, has not yet said if she'll support Su's nomination, though the Axios report mentions there are concerns with how she'll vote as well. 

Not helping Su's case is that she evidently won't even meet with Republican members of the committee, according to a report from Bloomberg Law. On April 12 letter that the Republican members sent to Su said they were "disappointed."

"A decision to refuse a Committee interview would not instill confidence that you will be transparent or accountable as Secretary of Labor. Therefore, we ask that you make yourself available to committee staff when requested," the letter also mentioned. 


Su currently serves as the deputy labor secretary, a position she was narrowly confirmed for. She would replace outgoing Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and be the administration's first Asian-American cabinet member. That the Biden administration has yet to have such a member, especially when there is such an emphasis on "equity" has certainly been picked out by mainstream media outlets as a cause for concern.

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