“Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su spent today’s hearing astonishingly distancing herself from policies she spent years championing, refused to answer even the most basic of questions, and demonstrated she is manifestly unqualified for US Labor Secretary,” Kiley said. “Su refused to answer whether AB 5 was a good law, even though she championed and aggressively enforced the law. Su refused to answer whether she supports President Biden’s position that AB 5 is a model for the nation. Su refused to answer if there was one action she would have done differently to prevent over $32 billion in unemployment fraud on her watch. Su refused to answer six separate times whether she voted for Prop. 22. Today’s hearing demonstrated in the clearest possible terms why President Biden must withdraw this controversial nominee from further consideration.” – Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Kiley (R-Calif.)
Background: As Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency from 2017-2019, Julie Su championed, aggressively enforced, and celebrated the passage of AB 5. The bill effectively outlawed independent contracting in California and destroyed countless livelihoods. At today’s hearing, Su refused to even answer whether AB 5 was a good law, whether she agreed with President Biden’s position that it is a model for the nation, and gave conflicting answers on her role in drafting the legislation. Su claimed she couldn’t remember how she voted on California’s most critical labor ballot proposition in a decade, Prop. 22. And after citing the unemployment rate, supplemental poverty measure, and net earnings growth as her indicators for judging the success of an economy, Su backtracked and said additional economic indicators were needed to judge an economy’s performance after Rep. Kiley informed her California was dead last or second to last in the country on all three measures.
In California, Su also oversaw $32.6 billion in EDD unemployment insurance fraud in what became the largest case of fraud in California history. During today’s hearing, Su waffled on accepting responsibility for the fraud and later refused to cite even one action she would have done differently. It’s clear she hasn’t learned from her mistakes and is bound to repeat them if confirmed.
You can also watch Rep. Kiley’s exchanges with Su on California’s economy, $32.6 billion in EDD fraud, AB-5, Prop. 22, child labor, and agreement with President Biden on AB-5 at the respective hyperlinks.