WSJ Renew said Biden to Nominate Julie Su as Labor Secretary

FILE - Julie Su, of Calif., speaks during a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for her to be Deputy Secretary of Labor, on Capitol Hill, March 16, 2021, in Washington. President Joe Biden is nominating Julie Su, the current deputy and former California official, as his next Labor Secretary, replacing the departing incumbent, former Boston mayor Marty Walsh. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WSJ Renew reports Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai, and Arati Prabhakar, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, are all members of the cabinet but aren’t secretaries.

Mr. Biden said that Ms. Su has been “a champion for workers, and she has been a critical partner to Secretary Walsh since the early days of my Administration.” He urged the Senate to quickly take up her nomination “so that we can finish the job for America’s workers.”

White House officials noted that Ms. Su played a central role in the Labor Department’s negotiations with labor and freight rail companies late last year to avoid a strike that would have snarled the nation’s supply chain.

Politico earlier reported that Mr. Biden would nominate Ms. Su.

Ms. Su was narrowly confirmed by the Senate as deputy secretary in July 2021 in a vote along party lines, with 50 approving and 47 opposing.

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Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Said his panel should have a thorough hearing to evaluate Ms. Su. He said Ms. Su was overseeing Labor Department rules that would hurt the so-called gig economy, and that she supervised California’s unemployment insurance office when it paid out fraudulent unemployment benefits, as occurred in many other states.

“Deputy Secretary Su has a troubling record,” Mr. Cassidy said.

Ms. Su would succeed Mr. Walsh, who will depart next month to become executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association, which does collective bargaining on behalf of NHL players.

The departure of Mr. Walsh, a former Boston mayor, marked the first change among Mr. Biden’s cabinet secretaries since he took office in January 2021.

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Before joining the Biden administration, Ms. Su served as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

Enforcing workplace laws in the state and overseeing unemployment insurance. She previously worked as a civil-rights attorney, which included representing 72 Thai garment workers who were trafficked into the U.S.

Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union, supported the nomination.

“She understands the urgency of empowering workers to improve their lives in this rapidly changing economy,” Ms. Henry said to WSJ Renew.

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