Travel Guides – Biden fired the Trump-appointed Social Security head amid complaints of stimulus check delays and union-busting tactics

New York businessman Andrew Saul testifies earlier than the Senate Finance Committee throughout his affirmation listening to to be commissioner of the Social Security Administration on October 02, 2018 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • The White House fired Andrew Saul, the Social Security head, on Friday night.

  • Democrats and advocates charged the company with gumming up stimulus checks for disabled individuals.

  • Democrats cheered the firings whereas Republicans mentioned Biden was injecting politics into the company.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul and his prime deputy on Friday afternoon, sparking a face-off as Saul says he would not intend to step down from his submit.

Saul, a Trump appointee, had triggered fierce criticism from Democrats and advocates, who mentioned he gummed up the speedy distribution of $1,400 stimulus checks to disabled Americans and utilized union-busting tactics with labor unions representing federal staff.

The Washington Post first reported Saul, 74, was fired after refusing to step down. His deputy David Black turned in his resignation upon request, The Post reported.

Saul disputed the White House’s capacity to take away him. “I consider myself the term-protected Commissioner of Social Security,” he advised The Post, including he plans to register remotely and work on Monday.

His six-yr tenure was supposed to finish in 2025, and Social Security heads aren’t sometimes switched out when a brand new administration takes energy. But the White House appeared to attract from a current Supreme Court ruling for the authority to switch him amid mounting calls from Democrats to switch him.

The White House didn’t instantly reply to remark. Biden moved to nominate Kilolo Kijakazi as performing commissioner till a everlasting successor is put in.

Saul is a former GOP donor who served on the board of a conservative suppose-tank that advocated for cuts to Social Security advantages. Advocates mentioned the Social Security Administration delayed releasing info to the IRS for stimulus checks earlier this yr.

They additionally argued the SSA below Saul made it far more burdensome for disabled individuals to reestablish their eligibility for advantages.

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Congressional Democrats and activists cheered Friday’s firings. Alex Lawson, president of Social Security Works, advised Insider it was “great news” Saul and Black are not in cost of the company.

“They were put in place by former President Trump to sabotage Social Security and no one but Wall Street is sad to see them go,” he mentioned. “Their attacks on seniors and people with disabilities will be their shameful legacy.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio additionally praised the transfer. The Banking committee chair mentioned in a press release Saul “tried to systematically dismantle Social Security as we know it from within.”

“Social Security is the bedrock of our middle class that Americans earn and count on, and they need a Social Security Commissioner who will honor that promise to seniors, survivors, and people with disabilities now and for decades to come,” Brown mentioned.

Congressional Republicans swung in the other way. Rep. Kevin Brady, the rating Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, and Sen. Mike Crapo, rating Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, launched a press release scolding the Biden administration for ousting Saul.

“Social Security beneficiaries stand the most to lose from President Biden’s partisan decision to remove Commissioner Andrew Saul from leadership of the Social Security Administration,” Brady and Crapo mentioned.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell additionally weighed in earlier on the prospect of Saul’s firing. He wrote on Twitter Saul’s removing could be “an unprecedented and dangerous politicization of the Social Security Administration.”

The Social Security Administration is in charge of dispensing benefits for practically 64 million seniors, disabled and low-earnings Americans, or one in six individuals in the US.

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