Thirty-three Senate Republicans are calling on President Biden to withdraw Julie Su’s nomination to lead the Department of Labor, according to a letter sent to the White House on Tuesday.
A group that comprises more than two-thirds of the Senate GOP conference signed a letter calling for Su’s nomination to be pulled after months of Democratic struggles to win the elusive 50 votes to put her over the top.
“Given this present state of affairs, we respectfully urge you to withdraw the nomination,” said the letter, which was led by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). “We appreciate your responsiveness to this request, and ask for prompt confirmation that the nomination of Julie A. Su is formally withdrawn.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is also among those who signed the letter.
Su’s nomination has stood for more than three months but Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has yet to bring her up for a vote to replace former Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
He told reporters recently that Democrats are “working very, very hard” to get her confirmed, but they continue to struggle to win over a trio of moderates — Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.),
Manchin has declined to take a public stance on Su’s nomination, but is considered the least likely of the three centrist senators to vote for her.
When asked by reporters in recent weeks, Tester has repeatedly wondered whether Su will ever get a vote. He has declined to take a side, saying that he has not decided one way or another.
“I’m still looking. Still taking input,” Tester told The Hill earlier this month. “Are we ever going to vote on her? … I don’t know. I have no idea. I have not been playing in that sandbox at all. I’m just taking input from Montanans.”
Sinema has a policy of not previewing her votes.
With all three of those up in the air, Democrats have pushed to win over Sen. Lisa Murkowki (R-Alaska) to help put Su over the top. Murkowski did not sign the letter.
Meanwhile, the White House is pulling out all the stops to cement Su atop the department. Biden praised her last week for her involvement in helping West Coast dockworkers and shippers reach a labor deal, indicating that he hoped it would help her in her quest to become Labor Secretary.
“Julie Su has proven herself time and time again, both as Deputy Secretary working closely with Secretary Marty Walsh — and now as a leader who helped assure that our supply chains remain strong for America’s businesses, farmers, and working families,” Biden said.
Save for Murkowski being undecided, Senate Republicans are universally opposed to Su’s nomination due to her stance on the gig economy and independent contractors, and her handling of California’s unemployment insurance program when the state paid out billions in fraudulent COVID-19 funds.
The opposition over the gig economy stems from a potential rule by the Department of Labor that would make it tougher for individuals to classify as independent contractors. Those workers can be up to 30 percent cheaper for businesses and have fewer protections legally.