Biden Administration Playing “Partisan Hardball” in Recent String of Firings
‘At the very first instant that the new President’s statements about norms, institutions, and governance ran up against the demands of the far left — well, the decision didn’t take long. Where Senate confirmation and fixed terms were supposed to create independence, this Administration just wanted partisan loyalty.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding governing traditions:
“Later today, the Senate will vote on President Biden’s nominee to serve as general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board.
“There shouldn’t be a vacancy in this position. When President Biden took office, the person serving as the NLRB’s top lawyer was still in the middle of the term to which the Senate had confirmed him. He was doing his job, serving the country, and had no intention to skip out on his responsibilities early.
“But less than 30 minutes after pledging to heal and unify the country in his inaugural address, President Biden broke precedent and threatened to fire Peter Robb unless he resigned prematurely that very day.
“At the very first instant that the new President’s statements about norms, institutions, and governance ran up against the demands of the far left — well, the decision didn’t take long.
“Where Senate confirmation and fixed terms were supposed to create independence, this Administration just wanted partisan loyalty.
“Unfortunately this was no isolated incident. It’s been a pattern.
“This small world of independent federal agencies has offered us a case study in the gap between the Administration’s unifying rhetoric… and its divisive actions.
“In March, the Biden Administration took aim at another Senate-confirmed official, the general counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — this time, a full two years before her term was set to expire.
“Sharon Gustafson had been engaged in important work, particularly in defense of religious freedom in the workplace.
“But the President didn’t want to wait for our system to play out properly. He broke with norms, and fired her.
“Just this month, we witnessed the firing of Andrew Saul, the head of the Social Security Administration, just two years into his six-year term.
“Mr. Saul had kept a critical agency functioning through a historically challenging year. He was not some partisan hack. We’re talking about someone the Senate confirmed with 77 votes. A bipartisan supermajority.
“But powerful liberal interests got the President’s ear. They wanted their own hand-picked insider. Norms and precedents had to go out the window
“The American people deserve to trust in the independence of crucial watchdog agencies like these. But with these firings, this Administration has instead decided to explore frontiers in partisan hardball.
“We just spent years listening to the left and the media express outrage over personnel decisions and dismissals, many of which amounted to less.”
Related Issues: Nominations, Jobs, Labor