West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a prominent voice in the Democratic Party, is not enthused about President Joe Biden’s new Labor Secretary appointee, Julie Su, according to reports by Axios. Manchin’s opposition to Su could potentially impede her confirmation process, adding to a growing list of Biden’s nominees that the senator does not support.
SCOOP: Manchin's concerns have Biden's pick for Labor looking doubtfulhttps://t.co/SwEZBqZcf6
— Axios (@axios) April 13, 2023
Manchin’s reported concerns about Su’s appointment stem from her pro-labor union record, including allocating nearly $30 billion of unemployment benefits to California criminals during her stint as the state’s labor commissioner. She also supported a California bill that put pressure on companies to treat independent contractors as full-time employees.
“Are they political partisans first or Americans first?” Manchin asked on Friday. “Let me be clear: If they choose to continue down this path, there will be consequences now and in the future.”
Republican senators have rallied to Manchin’s cause, with the GOP focusing on Su’s perceived pro-union stance. Although Senate Democrats who support Su are apprehensive that Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema may decide to join Manchin, rendering their majority front vulnerable.
Notably, the Biden administration is facing growing opposition to their nominees, with the withdrawal of Gigi Sohn’s nomination for an open seat on the Federal Trade Commission and Phil Washington bowing out of an opportunity to head the Federal Aviation Administration, all due to Democratic opposition.
Manchin’s opposition hints at his upcoming re-election bid, though no formal announcement on this front has yet been made. The senator’s opposition, if proven potent, will show he has the backing of the Republican West Virginia challengers already lining up for the 2024 contest.
However, despite the opposition to confirm Su, the White House is standing firmly behind her appointment. “Julie is a champion for workers, and has spent her life fighting to make sure that everyone has a fair shot, that no community is overlooked, and that no worker is left behind,” countered Emilie R. Simons, spokesperson for the White House.
In conclusion, Senator Manchin’s opposition to Julie Su and her appointment has become the latest sore point in Biden’s presidency, and the president may face an uphill battle to secure Su’s confirmation as Labor Secretary.