House panel again subpoenas Biden’s Labor chief over return-to-work plan

sujulie 041724gn01 w

The House Education and Workforce Committee on Monday subpoenaed acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su over what it called a “failure” to hand over materials related to the department’s return-to-work plan.

“Under Acting Secretary Su, the [Department of Labor (DOL)] has adopted a posture of blatant negligence in complying with the Committee’s oversight requests — vague answers and routine failures to provide requested materials have become the norm,” committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said in a statement.

It comes days after Foxx threatened to subpoena Su during a committee hearing last week, when the Labor chief appeared before the panel.

Foxx sent a letter to Su on March 6 pressing her on the department’s failure to submit their return-to-office policies after the White House requested the information. The North Carolina Republican asked Su to do so by March 20, but last week said an adequate amount of information was not handed over and threatened to subpoena Su by May 6 should additional information not be handed over.

“The Committee’s March 6th letter to DOL requesting information on its return-to-work action plan remains unanswered — this is entirely unacceptable,” Foxx said in a statement. “Acting Secretary Su has also now ignored a request during her May 1 appearance before the full Committee that she provide a copy of DOL’s return-to-office plan, which the White House instructed each agency to prepare and submit.”

The department handed over what Foxx called an “insufficient” response on April 18 in response to the March letter “that failed to address the Committee’s core request,” per Foxx.

In Foxx’s initial letter to Su, she pointed to an analysis from the Government Accountability Office that found the DOL and five other agencies used an estimated 23 percent of their headquarters space on average. 

Calling this “unacceptable,” Foxx referenced guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued in April 2023 that urged federal workers to return to the office full time.

“An accurate understanding of the headquarters staffing situation is necessary for the committee to ensure that DOL is undertaking its mandates faithfully and in accordance with the law,” Foxx wrote. “Furthermore, employees failing to return to the office could expose taxpayers to significant waste, fraud and abuse.”

The Hill reached out to the Department of Labor for further comment.

Su’s nomination to replace former Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has faced numerous roadblocks over the past year amid backlash from Republicans in the Senate.

Su was nominated by President Biden last March to fill in for Walsh, but the nomination was never voted on in the upper chamber. By June, it appeared Democratic leadership made little progress in convincing holdouts to back her nomination.

She was renominated by Biden to serve as Labor secretary in January, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee advanced the nomination in a party-line vote in February. It has yet not been brought to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top