Julie Su confirmation hearing set for April 20

April 17, 2023

Mark Schremmer


In 2021, Julie Su narrowly earned confirmation as the deputy labor secretary by a vote of 50-47. This week, Su appears to be facing an even more difficult road as she aims to formally lead the U.S. Department of Labor.

Su’s confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, April 20.

President Joe Biden announced in February that he was nominating Su to take charge of the U.S. Department of Labor, replacing Marty Walsh.

Su became deputy labor secretary in July 2021 after narrowly passing confirmation with a 50-47 vote. Before that, Su served as California’s labor commissioner.

Senate HELP Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders offered support to Su ahead of the confirmation hearing.

“I am confident Julie Su will be an excellent secretary of labor,” Sanders, I-Vt., said in a news release. “I look forward to working with her to protect workers’ rights and build the trade union movement in this country.”

However, Su also is receiving a great deal of opposition stemming from her background in California and role in the implementation of the controversial worker classification law Assembly Bill 5.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, ranking member of the Senate HELP Committee, spoke out against Su’s nomination.

“Deputy Secretary Su has a troubling record and is currently overseeing the Department of Labor’s development of anti-worker regulations that will dismantle the gig economy,” Cassidy, R-La., said in a statement. “This does not inspire confidence in her ability to hold her current position, let alone be promoted.”

According to Axios, Su is expecting to receive no votes from all 49 Republicans in the 100-seat Senate. That means, Su can’t afford to lose votes from Democrats or independents. Multiple news outlets report that it is unclear how Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., will vote.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also opposes Su’s nomination.

OOIDA wrote in a March 3 letter to senators that it is concerned Su would try to roll out AB5, which makes it nearly impossible for leased-on workers to be considered independent contractors, on a national scale. The Association is fighting AB5 in court and said that the law and “haphazard” rollout forced independent contractor truckers to either leave the state, become an employee, attempt to reconfigure their business or abandon the profession.

“Make no mistake, if Ms. Su were to advance the same policies that she championed in California, it would force hundreds of thousands of truckers to change their business model and put their livelihood in jeopardy,” OOIDA wrote.

Rep. Kevin Kiley, R-Calif., also has been a vocal opponent of Su, saying she is “the worst choice” the president could have made.

Kiley will be delivering the opening statement at a House subcommittee hearing on April 19 that will look at worker classification efforts. LL