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Biden Fires Social Security Administration Chief

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What You Need to Know

  • Biden removed Saul after he refused to resign.
  • Every president should choose the personnel that will best carry out their vision, said Sen. Wyden.
  • Brady and Crapo said Biden is injecting politics into the agency with Saul's removal.

President Joe Biden has removed Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul after he refused to resign.

Biden had asked the top two officials at the Social Security Administration to resign, but only Saul refused, according to published reports Friday. Deputy Commissioner David Black agreed to submit his resignation, a White House official told CNN, and it was accepted.

The White House official told CNN that Biden removed Saul for several reasons, specifically because Saul had “undermined and politicized Social Security disability benefits, terminated the agency’s telework policy that was utilized by up to 25% of the agency’s workforce [and] not repaired SSA’s relationships with relevant Federal employee unions including in the context of COVID-19 workplace safety planning.”

Saul told The Washington Post Friday, however, that that he would not leave his position because he does not believe that the president has the authority to fire him.

On April 12, 2018, then President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Saul for the post of Social Security commissioner for the remainder of a six-year term expiring Jan. 19, 2019, and for an additional six-year term expiring Jan. 19, 2025.

“Every president should choose the personnel that will best carry out their vision for the country,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., late Friday in a statement. “To fulfill President Biden’s bold vision for improving and expanding Social Security, he needs his people in charge.”

Wyden added that he’d “work closely with the president to confirm a new commissioner as swiftly as possible to lead this critical agency.”

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said Saturday morning in a statement that “Social Security beneficiaries stand the most to lose from President Biden’s partisan decision to remove” Saul.

“It is disappointing that the administration is injecting politics into the agency, given that Commissioner Saul was confirmed with bipartisan approval, worked closely with both parties in Congress, and provided smooth benefit and service delivery during the largest management challenge ever faced by the agency,” Brady and Crapo said.

The two lawmakers voiced their concern that Biden’s removal of Saul amounts to “politicization of the Social Security Administration [and] is just the beginning of efforts to raise payroll taxes and seriously undermines bipartisan efforts to save Social Security for future retirees.”