Capitol Correspondence - 06.06.23

Julie Su’s Labor Secretary Nomination Remains Uncertain

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In a much-needed relief for the American economy, the United States debt ceiling crisis has been averted. The bipartisan agreement reached in Congress has ensured that the country will continue to meet its financial obligations and avoid a potentially catastrophic default. While the debt ceiling crisis dominated headlines in recent weeks, another significant concern lingers in the minds of the White House and Senate Democrats—the fate of Julie Su’s nomination for U.S. Department of Labor secretary.

Julie Su, President Biden’s nominee, has encountered significant obstacles in the Senate, with united Republican opposition hindering the confirmation process. The three undecided moderates, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Jon Tester (Mont.), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), hold the key to Su’s fate. Union insiders view Senator Sinema as the pivotal vote, prompting labor unions such as the AFL-CIO to restart a TV ad campaign in Arizona and across the nation in support of Su.

However, despite the mounting pressure, Su’s nomination is not expected to receive any action on the Senate floor this week. The prolonged delay raises concerns about whether Su can ultimately secure confirmation. In the meantime, Su continues to serve as the Acting Labor Secretary, diligently carrying out the department’s responsibilities.

As attention remains fixated on Su’s nomination, the Senate’s focus this week will be on other crucial nominations, including both judicial and executive appointments. The shortened Tuesday-to-Thursday week leaves limited time for deliberation.