A report of severe reservations came down from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) when it comes to the recent nomination of Julie Su, who is most well known for being responsible for billions of dollars in pandemic relief fraud throughout her time as a senior official in California, to replace Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
Su was tasked with leading the California Labor Department, which is responsible for managing the state’s Employment Development Department, as one-tenth of the staggering $114 billion in pandemic relief claims handled by the group also involved highly fraudulent activity. The total level of fraud could have actually surged past $31 billion, according to a report from January 2021 report from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Manchin recently told the White House that he is very wary of confirming Su, as explained in a report from Axios which drew information from quite a few still unnamed sources, even as the lack of support from Manchin in the slightly Democratic Senate could sink the nomination. Hesitant Democrats also spoke out to call for the withdrawal of Gigi Sohn to serve on the Federal Communications Commission and Phil Washington to work as head of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Opposition coming from Manchin of the same type has historically killed the prospects of Neera Tanden to work as director of the Office of Management and Budget, which resulted in her now serving instead as a White House Staff Secretary.
Manchin faces re-election this coming year out of his heavily Republican home state. Both Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) could also step up to be against Su in order to create political distance for themselves from Old Uncle Joe as they, in the same vein, are going to be kicking off potentially difficult re-election campaigns.
Last month, however, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre chimed in to try and defend Su as a number of reporters pointed out the massive unemployment insurance fraud that she presided over. Jean-Pierre also highlighted that Su had been made to deal with one in five unemployment relief claims in the nation.
“It was a historic crush of unemployment claims at the onset of the pandemic. That’s what we were seeing,” expressed Jean-Pierre to reporters. “The design of the initial pandemic unemployment systems and years of national investments in UI modernization led to challenges, including fraud attacks, as you were just stating, across the nation in red and blue states alike. That was happening across the country during the very early stages of the pandemic.”