Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, has been a thorn in the side of President Joe Biden and many other Democrats for just about the entire Biden administration thus far.
Now, it seems as if he’s going to continue playing that role.
Axios reported recently that Manchin isn’t impressed by Julie Su, Biden’s new appointee to be Labor Secretary. This would make yet another nominee from the president that Manchin has refused to get behind.
According to Axios’ report, Manchin has sent along deep concerns he has about Su to the White House. It’s very possible that the opposition Manchin has toward Su, along with the reluctance from other Democrats and Republicans to support her, could ultimately do in her nomination.
Manchin recently withdrew support he once had for Biden’s recent appointee to the Department of Interior, Laura Daniel-Davis. The West Virginia senator said he was worried about her political activism, and added that he would continue his heavy scrutiny of all appointees the president nominates.
On Friday, Manchin commented:
“Are they political partisans first or Americans first? Let me be clear: If they choose to continue down this path, there will be consequences now and in the future.”
In their opposition to Su’s nomination, the GOP has focused on her record of being pro-union. That includes the almost $30 billion in total unemployment benefits that were allotted to criminals in California when she served as the labor commissioner in that state, Axios reported.
Su also once supported a bill in California that pressured businesses to consider their independent contractors to be full-time workers. That would have allowed the workers to claim benefits such as paid time off and health insurance, while increasing the costs for businesses to operate substantially.
Axios’ report says that Senate Democrats who are behind Su are afraid that Kyrsten Sinema, an independent senator from Arizona, could ultimately join with Manchin in disapproving of the nominee, which would put their Democratic majority in the upper chamber in serious jeopardy.
It’s likely that all Senate Republicans will oppose Su, which means that if both Sinema and Manchin were to oppose her, too, her nomination would fail. These two senators have famously bound together during the first two years of the Biden administration to sink some of the liberals’ main plans, such as the Build Back Better bill, which ultimately never went through as originally intended.
What was a $3 trillion-plus proposal to begin with was whittled down significantly to less than $1 trillion, and re-dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act.
Sam Runyon, who serves as Manchin’s spokesperson, said that while the senator has said that he has concerns about Su’s nominations, he “has not made a decision” just yet about how he will ultimately vote during her confirmation.
If Su’s nomination were to fail, it would be the third of Biden’s nominees to not make it through the confirmation process.