Republican senators are frustrated that the Biden administration has included Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su in the presidential line of succession despite never being approved for the position.
In a letter to President Biden on Tuesday, Alabama Republican Senator Katie Britt and 29 of her Republican Senate colleagues voiced profound concern over the administration’s apparent belief that Su is eligible to the presidential line of succession established by Congress in the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 and could therefore assume the office of President of the United States.
“As you are well aware, since March 14, 2023, the United States Senate has declined to confirm Ms. Su’s nomination as Secretary of Labor, and she continues to lack adequate support from both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate to be confirmed to that position,” the senators wrote. “Despite that reality and Ms. Su becoming the longest-ever Cabinet nominee to await confirmation in a time when the same party controls the White House and the Senate, the White House has chosen to keep her in place as Acting Secretary of Labor on an indefinite basis and has also listed her on the White House website as a member of the Cabinet ‘in order of succession to the Presidency.'”
Su, California’s Labor Secretary under Gov. Gavin Newsom from 2019 to 2021, is now ranked ninth on the White House’s website’s list of succession to the presidency.
“While you and your Administration have clearly decided to ignore congressional intent in keeping Ms. Su in her current role, it would be unfortunate if you decided to discount congressional intent further and violate the law by taking the position that Ms. Su is eligible for placement in the presidential line of succession,” the Republican senators added.
In a letter to President Biden, senators referenced the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to determine the presidential line of succession beyond the Vice President.
“As Ms. Su has failed to be ‘appointed, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate’ as Secretary of Labor, we strongly urge the White House to clarify its position and views regarding Ms. Su’s eligibility for the presidential line of succession and, in the event it was to become necessary, to assume the presidency,” they wrote. “It is unimaginable to think that this Administration believes someone who has neither been duly elected nor confirmed by the Senate to the position of Secretary of Labor could be President of the United States. Suggesting that Ms. Su is eligible to be in the presidential line of succession is antithetical to our system of governance and the bedrock principles on which our Republic rests.”
“The Biden Administration continues to attempt to rule by unilateral decree rather than govern with the advice and consent of Congress. Ms. Su doesn’t even have adequate support from members of her own party in the Senate to be confirmed as Secretary of Labor,” Britt told Fox News Digital. “In sum, the Biden Administration is now seemingly asserting that it can freely ignore the will of the Senate by keeping Ms. Su in place indefinitely as Acting Secretary and that Ms. Su could instantaneously ascend from her current role to serve as President of the United States.”
“President Biden should immediately clarify whether he believes someone who has neither been elected by the people nor approved by the people’s elected representatives as a member of the Cabinet could assume the presidency,” she added.
Senators urged Biden again to withdraw Ms. Su’s nomination for Secretary of Labor and submit a candidate who can generate sufficient support.
Earlier this year, Su’s candidacy to serve as Labor Secretary was met with strong opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike. Consequently, she was never officially appointed and has been acting as Labor Secretary ever since.
Su has been accused of stonewalling by Republican senators who want to know whether she supports additional gig work regulations in California. During her tenure as the state’s top labor official, a memo instructed state employees not to cooperate with ICE officials looking for undocumented migrants.
“Su has avoided answering questions whenever possible, and she has refrained from providing distinct specificity to her answers when she has responded to inquiries,” Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., and other Republicans wrote in a letter to Biden about Su’s nomination in June. “Given this state of affairs, we respectfully urge you to withdraw the nomination.”
The Senate Education, Labor, Health, and Pensions Committee narrowly supported Su’s nomination in April. Su has served as interim Secretary since Marty Walsh’s departure in March. However, the full Senate has yet to vote on Su’s nomination, and it’s doubtful that she will be appointed to the post.