Biden’s move got immediate support from the Democratic senator who would be in charge of confirming a successor to Saul. Republican senators accused Biden of politicizing the agency and pointed to Saul’s confirmation by a bipartisan Senate vote in 2019.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement that “every president should chose the personnel that will best carry out their vision for the country.
“To fulfill President Biden’s bold vision for improving and expanding Social Security, he needs his people in charge,” Wyden added, pledging to work to confirm a new commissioner “as swiftly as possible.”
Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the top Republican on the finance committee, and Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, issued a joint statement calling Biden’s decision “disappointing.” The pair claimed “Social Security beneficiaries stand the most to lose from President Biden’s partisan decision to remove Commissioner Andrew Saul.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the personnel move an “unprecedented and dangerous politicization of the Social Security Administration.”
The agency, headquartered in Baltimore, pays benefits to about 64 million people, including retirees, children, widows and widowers, according to its website. The agency has a staff of about 60,000 employees and the benefits are funded by a tax on wages paid by employers and employees.