More than 250 business leaders endorse Julie Sue for labor secretary as nomination hangs in balance


Deputy Labor Secretary Julie Sue testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee during her confirmation hearing to be the next Secretary of the US Labor Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 20, 2023.

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More than 250 business leaders are urging the Senate to confirm Acting Labor Secretary Julie Sue, according to a letter first obtained by CNBC.

“Julie Sue is a trailblazer whose track record speaks for itself,” the letter read, citing her experience as California’s secretary of labor. “She led efforts to combat wage theft, expanded access to health care and paid family leave, and provided legal services for workers facing exploitation. Additionally, her work as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor The experience has given him a thorough understanding of the Department of Labor and current issues facing the economy, businesses and workers.”

The letter, addressed to both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was sent Thursday. It was signed by people like YouTube co-founder Steve Chen and OpenTable CEO Debbie Hsu. Other signatories include Caroline Tse, who serves on the boards of directors for Coca-Cola and Morningstar; Roy Salame, former managing director and vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase; Eric Kim, co-founder and managing partner of Goodwater Capital; and Cindy McNamara, Vice President of Bank of America.

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Su faced strong backlash from some members of the business community for his pro-labor stance, which blocked the way for his confirmation. She was confirmed by a party-line vote as deputy secretary of former Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in 2021, but several prominent moderate Democrats have not yet said whether they will support her in that run.

A committee in the Democratic-held Senate advanced his nomination late last month.

If confirmed, Su would be the first Asian American and Pacific Islander cabinet secretary in the Biden administration. She will be joined by cabinet-level AAPI officials Vice President Kamala Harris, US Trade Representative Catherine Tai, and Aarti Prabhakar, Office of the Director of Science and Technology Policy.

The signatories, many of whom are Asian American, expressed concern about the lack of AAPI representation in government, which they called “deeply concerning”. The letter cites a report by the Thinkific Democracy Campaign which found that AAPI individuals make up only 0.9% of elected leaders at all levels of government, even though they make up 6.1% of the total population.

It is noted that AAPI community members own more than 2.5 million small businesses and are responsible for the creation of more than five million jobs.

“Their impact on the economy is significant and it is vital that they are strongly represented at the highest levels of government,” the letter said.

The White House has been steadfast in its support for Su’s confirmation. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated that stance at a press briefing on Wednesday.

“She met with dozens of senators on both sides of the aisle, and we’re working very hard every day for every vote,” Jean-Pierre said. “It’s definitely something she’s doing, definitely something we’re doing on her behalf. And we feel confident about her process and hope to consider the floor in the near future.” are doing.”

Su is supported by labor unions including the United Mine Workers, NABTU, LiUNA, IBEW and the AFL-CIO, as well as the small business majority of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

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