Biden fires Trump-appointed Social Security Administration chief

President Joe Biden on Friday fired Andrew Saul, the pinnacle of the Social Safety Administration, a White Home official instructed NBC Information.

Saul, who was appointed the company’s commissioner by former President Donald Trump, was requested to resign, the official mentioned. Saul refused and was subsequently notified that his employment was terminated instantly, in keeping with the official.

The Washington Put up was first to report information of Saul’s firing.

“Since taking workplace, Commissioner Saul has undermined and politicized Social Safety incapacity advantages, terminated the company’s telework coverage that was utilized by as much as 25 p.c of the company’s workforce, not repaired SSA’s relationships with related Federal worker unions together with within the context of COVID-19 office security planning, lowered due course of protections for advantages appeals hearings, and brought different actions that run opposite to the mission of the company and the President’s coverage agenda,” the White Home official mentioned.

Biden additionally requested for the resignation of David Black, the company’s deputy commissioner, who did resign, the identical official mentioned.

Saul instructed The Put up in an interview on Friday that he questions the legality of the White Home resolution to fireplace him. His time period was presupposed to final till January 2025. The White Home instructed the paper {that a} current U.S. Supreme Courtroom resolution gave the ability to exchange him.

“I take into account myself the term-protected Commissioner of Social Safety,” he instructed The Put up, describing the firing as a “Friday Night time Bloodbath” — a reference to President Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night time Bloodbath,” which included a string of firings by the president in the course of the Watergate scandal.

He instructed the paper he plans to return to work on Monday.

Biden has appointed Kilolo Kijakazi, the company’s deputy commissioner for retirement and incapacity coverage, as performing commissioner. Kijakazi beforehand served as a Fellow on the City Institute, a program officer for the Ford Basis, and a senior coverage analyst for the Heart on Funds and Coverage Priorities. She holds a doctorate in public coverage and has led and took part in analysis relating to social safety, racial fairness, financial safety, and retirement safety.

A seek for each commissioner and deputy commissioner will now be performed, the official mentioned.

Republican lawmakers have been swift to criticize Biden for the transfer, claiming the administration is injecting politics right into a usually apolitical company. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, known as the transfer “outrageous” in a tweet on Friday, noting that the commissioner is appointed to a six-year time period and was confirmed with a bipartisan vote in 2019.

Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell additionally laced into the administration for the transfer in a Friday tweet.

“This elimination could be an unprecedented and harmful politicization of the Social Safety Administration,” McConnell mentioned.


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