Biden Fires Andrew Saul, head of Social Security Administration

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Politics|President Biden fired the caput of the Social Security Administration.

Andrew Saul during his information   proceeding  to caput  the Social Security Administration successful  2018.
Credit...J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Jim Tankersley

  • July 9, 2021, 6:36 p.m. ET

President Biden connected Friday fired the antheral President Donald J. Trump appointed to pb the Social Security Administration, triggering a ineligible showdown implicit who rightfully holds the position.

Mr. Biden asked connected Friday greeting for the resignation of Andrew Saul, the Social Security commissioner, and David Black arsenic lawman commissioner. Mr. Black resigned arsenic requested but Mr. Saul refused to relinquish his presumption and was notified by the medication that helium had been fired. He has vowed to combat Mr. Biden’s determination arsenic illegal.

Mr. Biden moved to name an acting commissioner, Kilolo Kijakazi, portion the medication looks for imperishable replacements for the 2 jobs. Ms. Kijakazi is presently the lawman commissioner for status and disablement argumentation astatine the agency.

The developments were first reported by the Washington Post.

The firing was the latest determination by Mr. Biden to oust a Trump-appointed manager of an autarkic enforcement agency. In June, the president removed the caput of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees owe giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, aft the Supreme Court ruled that the president had the authorization to region the caput of the agency.

Democrats person sought to oust Mr. Saul from his presumption since the aboriginal days of Mr. Biden’s administration. Those calls grew successful the aftermath of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bundle that Democrats passed successful March, which included $1,400 nonstop payments to individuals. Lawmakers person said Mr. Saul helped to hold payments to retirees by not transmitting indispensable files to the Internal Revenue Service.

Mr. Saul’s bureau said it did not person backing to bash that work.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, the president of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee connected Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy, called for Mr. Saul’s resignation successful February, saying Mr. Saul had sought to contented regulations meant to trim entree to Social Security disablement benefits — including denying benefits to an estimated 100,000 imaginable recipients who bash not talk English fluently.

“Social Security is the bedrock of our mediate people that Americans gain and number on, and they request a Social Security commissioner who volition grant that committedness to seniors, survivors, and radical with disabilities present and for decades to come,” Mr. Brown said connected Friday. “Instead, Andrew Saul tried to systematically dismantle Social Security arsenic we cognize it from within.”

A White House official, speaking anonymously due to the fact that helium was not authorized to sermon the firing publicly, said the medication believed that Mr. Saul had undermined Social Security’s disablement benefits, terminated a telework argumentation astatine the bureau and alienated national worker unions implicit enactment unit information readying amid the pandemic.

Mr. Saul did not instantly respond to a petition for comment.

Republicans seized connected the firing, portraying it arsenic a governmental decision.

“Social Security beneficiaries basal the astir to suffer from President Biden’s partisan determination to region Commissioner Andrew Saul from enactment of the Social Security Administration,” said Represenative Kevin Brady of Texas, the apical Republican connected the Ways and Means Committee, and Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, the apical Republican connected the Finance Committee.

“It is disappointing that the medication is injecting authorities into the agency, fixed that Commissioner Saul was confirmed with bipartisan approval, worked intimately with some parties successful Congress, and provided creaseless payment and work transportation during the largest absorption situation ever faced by the agency.”

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