Kiley: “Today’s Hearing Demonstrated Julie Su Is Not Qualified to Lead DOL”

“Today’s Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing demonstrated Julie Su is not qualified to lead the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Su refused to accept responsibility for the staggering $32 billion unemployment fraud allowed on her watch. Yet the independent state auditor, California Democratic lawmakers, and the law enforcement officials who uncovered the fraud have all blamed mismanagement at Su’s department.

Su’s statements regarding AB 5 were even more disingenuous. Far from being a neutral administrator of the law, she enforced it in the most aggressive way possible in order to destroy as many California livelihoods as possible. There is no doubt she would do the same thing with the independent contractor rule currently proposed by the Department of Labor rule.

If Julie Su is confirmed, the livelihoods of millions of American workers will be at risk.”

– Congressman Kevin Kiley, Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee

Background: During today’s confirmation hearing, Julie Su made numerous statements contradicted by a State Auditor report, law enforcement officials, California Democrats, and the experience of millions of Californians who suffered under her mismanagement as Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Although Su attempted to shift the blame for the largest case of fraud in California history, a 2021 State Auditor report found that “despite repeated warnings, [Su’s] EDD did not bolster its fraud detection efforts until months into the pandemic.” In contrast, Su claimed to the Senate that “in California, as soon as we knew that there was fraud happening, I shut the front door to that fraud.”

The State Auditor’s report went on to cite numerous other deficiencies that led to the fraud, including allowing claimants with suspicious addresses to collect unemployment insurance benefits, removing a key fraud safeguard without understanding its significance, and failing to assess whether the EDD’s fraud detection and prevention tools were effective. In fact, claimants weren’t even checked against the state prison rolls. The district attorney of Sacramento County called the EDD’s response to the fraud “slow and nonexistent.” Even California Democrats placed the blame squarely with Su’s EDD. Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, who chaired the Assembly Committee with jurisdiction over EDD oversight, stated Su’s department failed to follow “simple and obvious steps that are implemented across the country.”

While Su, at today’s hearing, attempted to distance herself from California’s notorious AB 5 law, she was in fact responsible for using audits, fines, penalties, and threats to give the law the broadest possible impact. She promised as much right after AB 5 was signed, stating that her Department would proactively conduct audits and investigations of businesses. She continued: “That will be on both wages and tax because AB 5 expands the ABC test that way. So we will be doing investigations and audits so that those who want to comply with the need to reclassify can do so and those who don’t will understand that’s not the kind of economy we want in California. So we can issue citations and demand both wages and taxes and other kinds of penalties.” Su’s department continued these audits even after the COVID-19 business shutdown, during which California often had the highest unemployment rate in the country.

Recent Posts

Jun 14, 2024

Representative Kiley Votes for the Servicemember Quality of Life and National Defense Authorization Act of FY25

WASHINGTON – Today Representative Kevin Kiley (R-CA) voted for H.R. 8070, the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025. He released the following statement after today’s vote: “The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) is a win for America and our service members. This legislation strengthens our defense, deters adversaries and […]

Jun 12, 2024
In the Community

California House Delegation Unanimously Supports Initiative to Fix Prop. 47

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Kevin Kiley (R-CA) released a letter signed by every Member of the California GOP House delegation supporting the voter initiative to fix Proposition 47, which has now qualified for November’s ballot. The letter to Governor Newsom condemns a scheme by Sacramento politicians to undermine the initiative and urges the Governor to […]

May 29, 2024
In the Community

Representative Kiley Receives Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Legislative Hero Award

WASHINGTON – Representative Kevin Kiley (R-CA) was presented with the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Legislative Hero Award for his efforts to help end illegal drunk and impaired driving. “Accepting this award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is not just an honor, but a solemn reminder of our shared responsibility to protect lives, to […]