US Senate Confirmation Not Required – OpEd


The Biden administration has designated Laura Daniel-Davis, formerly Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, as Acting Deputy Secretary of the Interior Department. DOI Secretary Deb Haaland praised the appointment, but the people have room for doubt.

“Laura Daniel-Davis has the experience and qualifications to lead Interior’s lands and minerals agencies to tackle climate change,” said Earthjustice in a statement, “and we urge the full Senate to swiftly confirm her.” It didn’t happen.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee rendered a tie vote on the Biden pick. All Republicans opposed her and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin also had his doubts. The Senate failed to act and that forced a re-nomination.

With the recent move, Daniel-Davis, a former Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Representative Mark Udall of Colorado, has gained the post without full Senate confirmation. As American workers will recall, that is also the case with Julie Su, Joe Biden’s pick to run the Labor Department.

Several Democrats were wary of her, and the Senate never held a vote. Then on September 21, General Accountability Office lawyer Edda Emmanuelli Perez ruledthat “as the Deputy Secretary of Labor, Ms. Su may serve as Acting Secretary under section 552 until a successor is appointed,” because “The Vacancies Act’s time limitations do not apply to her service.”

All the Biden administration need do is hold off on a successor, and Julie Su runs the department without Senate confirmation. Taxpayers and workers will find it hard to square that with any form of accountability. For one thing, Julie Su is an anti-worker ideologue.

As California labor commissioner Su supported Assembly Bill 5, a frontal assault on workers’ independence. Primarily targeting independent truckers and rideshare drivers, AB-5 also limited freelance writers, photographers, and videographers to 35 submissions per publication, per year.

Asked in June if AB-5 was a good law, Su replied, “I don’t know what you mean.” As Californians know all too well, she is an administrator of fathomless incompetence.

Su headed California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), which oversees the Employment Development Department (EDD) responsible for unemployment claims. On Su’s watch, the EDD sent more than $31 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims to California, out of state, and out of country.

According to USA Today, “the state approved more than $140 million for at least 20,000 prisoners.” Convicts who made fraudulent claims included convicted murderers Scott Peterson and Cary Stayner. Death row inmates accounted for at least 158 claims landing more than $420,000 in benefits.

Rapper Nuke Bizzle posted a video about the ease of ripping off EDD and scammers filed hundreds of fake claims, “including one in the name of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.” While this massive fraud carried on unchecked, legitimate claimants waited months to collect the benefits they deserved.

Like Lenin scholar Saule Omarova, Biden’s nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, Julie Su shapes up as the worst possible pick. She gets to run the Labor Department without Senate confirmation, and the administration has now pulled off the same trick with Laura Daniel-Davis.

“This appointment is yet another example of this Administration disregarding Congress and elevating nominees when they are unable to get the bipartisan support needed for confirmation,” said a statement by Sen. Joe Manchin, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Their insistence on ignoring the confirmation process to advance their agenda undermines the role of the Senate and should be troubling to everyone.”

Sen. Tom Barrasso (R-Wyo), the committee’s ranking member, called the appointment “a mistake” citing the administration’s “complete lack of interest or respect for affordable, available energy to the American people.” The basic problem is not hard to spot.

The federal bureaucracy, including the General Accountability Office, is not a branch of government. GAO general counsel Edda Emmanuelli Perez, former manager of “opportunity and inclusiveness” at the agency, is not a federal judge.

Perez is on record that “past nominations may disadvantage a newly inaugurated president by limiting the acting service period in the new administration.” Her ruling on Julie Su effectively voids the role of the U.S. Senate, which is a branch of government.

This ruse begs for a ruling from the Supreme Court and legislators need to get a case rolling. If not, incompetence and ideology will rule, and the people will be ever more distant from their government.

This article was also published in The American Spectator

K. Lloyd Billingsley

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller.

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