President Biden’s pick to be the next Labor secretary is already being accused by Republicans of supporting policies that would hurt gig economy and franchise workers, arguments that signal the GOP will look to topple yet another Biden administration nominee.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., is the top Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee that will consider the nomination of Julie Su, who became acting Labor Secretary after Marty Walsh stepped down in mid-March to lead the national hockey players’ union. Cassidy told Fox News Digital that based on her performance as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and as deputy Labor secretary, Su is wrong for gig economy workers.
Cassidy said that during her tenure as California’s labor chief, Su supported a regulatory proposal known as AB5, which was aimed at tightening restrictions on who employers could classify as an independent contractor. He said Su would pursue] similar goals in Washington.
“Julie Su has overseen the development of anti-worker regulations at Labor that would destroy the gig economy, striping 21 million individuals of their ability to be independent contractors and enjoy the flexibility it provides,” Cassidy told Fox News Digital.
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Su also supported what became known as the “joint employer rule” in California, which was designed to extend a franchisee operator’s liability to the franchisor. Opponents of the provision argue that it would make it more difficult to create and sustain franchise businesses because it would unfairly make the parent company liable for incidents at the franchisee level, and in the end, make it more difficult to employ people in these companies.
“She has made public comments about her intention to impose the joint employer rule on franchises nationwide. This would uproot the franchise model which employs over 8 million Americans,” the senator said.
Cassidy’s comments are an early signal of the direction Senate Republicans will take as they consider Su, just weeks after they managed to derail two of the president’s high profile nominations in just one month with the help of moderates in the Democratic caucus.
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Phillip Washington, Biden’s nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration, bowed out shortly after Gigi Sohn gave up the fight to serve on the Federal Communications Commission.
The two issues highlighted by Cassidy have the potential to again sap support from moderate Democrats in the Senate. As the Senate left for the Easter break, it wasn’t clear where moderate Democrats up for re-election in 2024 think about Su, such as Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Jon Tester, D-Mt., and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz.
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While those senators approved Su’s nomination to be deputy secretary of Labor, those positions could shift. Manchin’s office told Fox News Digital that he “hasn’t made a decision” on Su’s nomination yet.
One Republican member of the Senate HELP Committee said that once again, the fate of this Biden nominee will depend on whether Senate Democrats stick together.
“I don’t know that there’s a Republican for her,” Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., told Fox News Digital on Thursday. “So it’s going to depend on mostly the three or four Democrats that could actually derail the nomination.”
Source: Fox News