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

Asked about whether her lack of confirmation is slowing Labor Department priorities, Su told Bloomberg: “The work of the department continues full steam.”

The Labor Department has not issued any final regulations since Su started running it, though it has put out one proposed regulation on dust safety for miners.

Republicans this week questioned the legal authority under which Su is leading the department, which carries implications about whether there might be time limits on her acting secretary status.

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.