Home>Articles>CA Lawmakers Announce Formal Opposition to Julie Su Nomination As U.S. Labor Secretary

Rep. Kevin Kiley, Assembly Minority Leader James Gallagher. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

CA Lawmakers Announce Formal Opposition to Julie Su Nomination As U.S. Labor Secretary

‘Stop rewarding failure’

By Katy Grimes, March 15, 2023 5:54 pm

Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) and Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) got the band back together Wednesday, as they led a press conference of fellow elected lawmakers, freelance workers and victims of mismanagement at the California Employment Development Department, to call on the U.S. Senate to reject Julie Su’s confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Rep. Kevin Kiley, Assembly Minority Leader James Gallagher. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Rep. Kiley said in his open that while California Gov. Gavin Newsom claims the state leads the nation in just about everything, approving Julie Su’s confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Labor would only make California’s problems the nations’ problems.

“As Chair of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, I am urging President Biden in the strongest terms to immediately withdraw Julie Su’s nomination,” Rep. Kiley said. “To say that Su failed in her previous role as Labor Secretary in California’s Labor Department is an extreme understatement. The amount of suffering Su’s Labor Department inflicted on my constituents and millions of Californians should entirely disqualify Su from consideration.”

Kiley said the best indicator of how Julie Su would lead the U.S. Department of Labor is how poorly she led the California Department of Labor and EDD.

That sentiment was shared by Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, who said his recommendation is, “Stop rewarding failure.”

California Globe has been reporting for several years on the horrific fraud in California’s unemployment agency, the Orwellian-named “Employment Development Department,” prior to the state Covid lockdowns, as well as during the pandemic, when Californians most needed unemployment insurance.

In July 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the formation of a “strike team” to solve numerous issues plaguing the Employment Development Department, including resolving the backlog of millions of unfulfilled unemployment claims, and fraudulent unemployment claims since the coronavirus pandemic lockdown was first ordered by Gov. Newsom in March (2020).

We now have upwards of $31 billion in unemployment claims sent to prison inmates in California’s county jails, and state and federal prisons, out of state, and even out of the country, while legitimate claimants were denied, stiffed for months, or received late payments.

Overseeing the EDD was then-Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Julie Su, who confirmed that in 2020, fraudsters stole at least $11.4 billion in unemployment benefits from California (at the time), the Globe reported. And 800,000 unemployment claims were paid late, along with 12.7 million delayed eligibility determinations.

The State Auditor’s 2021 audit of the EDD explained a lot:

“The economic shutdowns in early 2020 led to historically high numbers of UI claims in a very short time (claim surge), and further shutdowns began in December 2020, raising the potential for additional spikes in unemployment. This audit reviewed EDD’s response to the claim surge, its handling of the resulting backlog of unpaid claims, and the assistance it has provided to individuals through its call center.”

The Auditor said the EDD was aware of internal problems for more than a decade, while failing to prepare for inevitable economic downturns in the state, throughout the Gov. Jerry Brown administration and into Gov. Gavin Newsom’s. “EDD had no comprehensive plan for how it would respond if California experienced a recession and UI claims increased correspondingly,” the audit reported.

Aaron Gayden, a freelancer impacted by AB 5. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

But what led to the $31 billion in fraudulent claims was when Secretary Julie Su made the decision to suspend most EDD eligibility requirements, according to the audit. It was only federal oversight which caught this and notified the EDD that they could not suspend eligibility requirements.

Additionally, Su was an enthusiastic supporter of AB 5, which destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers and effectively banned freelance work in California, and a ruthless enforcer of it, according to Kiley. He said during Covid when so many businesses were shut down, she enforced the banning of freelance work and independent contract work. Kiley warned that Su plans to implement this policy and its disastrous impacts nationwide through the PRO-Act.

California Business & Industrial Alliance President Tom Manzo said because Su supported Assembly Bill 5, jobs left the state. “Now people Don’t want to hire California’s independent contractors,” Manzo said.

Aaron Gayden, a band leader and musician freelancer impacted by AB 5, warned that Julie Su would take AB 5 national, killing millions of independent contractors and gig workers.

Assemblymembers Bill Essayli (AD-63), Joe Patterson (AD-05), Josh Hoover (AD-07), Jim Patterson (AD-23), and Tri Ta (AD-70), Lincoln Chamber of Commerce President Tom Indrieri, as well as Aaron Gayden and Tom Manzo, were at the press conference.

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5 thoughts on “CA Lawmakers Announce Formal Opposition to Julie Su Nomination As U.S. Labor Secretary

  1. Did they issue a strongly worded letter after their press conference? The usual Senate RINOs will vote to confirm Julie Su and RINO Mitch McConnell will probably do nothing to stop those RINOs? He’ll probably vote to confirm her too?

    1. A strongly written letter to the brain-dead meat-puppet Biden? That will do something? NOT! Why don’t they instead demand that Mitch McConnell hold the line and not let any Senate Republican confirm her?

      1. It’s RINOs such as Susan Collins, Murkowski, Romney, McTurtle, etc. who will vote for these folks who are incapable of doing their jobs yet get rewarded to a higher office thanks to sneaky Hair Gel his ilk & the RINOs

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