Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su: ‘I remain hopeful for confirmation’

Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su voiced confidence Friday that she will eventually be confirmed by the Senate, even as multiple key senators have not yet announced whether they will support her nomination.

“I remain hopeful for confirmation,” Su said in an appearance on CNN Friday morning. “I’m grateful for the support of many, many senators, as well as labor and business.”

President Joe Biden nominated Su earlier this year to succeed Marty Walsh, who left the administration to lead the National Hockey League Players Association. She was confirmed by the Senate in 2021 as deputy Labor secretary along party lines, but has seen her nomination as Labor secretary face significant headwinds on Capitol Hill.

Most Democrats in the Senate, as well as organized labor groups and some business groups, have voiced their support for Su. But Republicans have lined up to oppose the former California Labor secretary, citing her handling of unemployment funding during the Covid-19 pandemic and her past support for a California law that requires companies to designate most workers as employees, not independent contractors. App-based companies such as Uber and Lyft, franchise restaurants and other employers that depend on gig workers have also voiced opposition due to concerns Su would pursue similar regulations at the federal level.

Su’s nomination has taken on new significance for key moderate senators. Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who all face tough reelection battles in 2024, have refused to take a public position on Su’s nomination. Sens. Angus King (I-Maine) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) have also been publicly noncommittal. Tester, Sinema and Manchin have each met with Su.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has not yet scheduled a vote on Su. The White House has shown no indication it will withdraw Su’s nomination.

Key moderate senators, including Joe Manchin, have yet to publicly say whether they will support her nomination.  

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