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Biden to nominate Julie Su as labor secretary

If she is confirmed by the Senate, Su, now the deputy labor secretary, would be the first Asian American to serve as a Cabinet secretary under Biden.
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Tuesday he will nominate Julie Su to be the next secretary of labor.

Su is currently the deputy secretary of labor. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first Asian American to serve as a Cabinet secretary under Biden.

“It is my honor to nominate Julie Su to be our country’s next Secretary of Labor. Julie has spent her life fighting to make sure that everyone has a fair shot, that no community is overlooked, and that no worker is left behind," Biden said in a statement. "Over several decades, Julie has led the largest state labor department in the nation, cracked down on wage theft, fought to protect trafficked workers, increased the minimum wage, created good-paying, high-quality jobs, and established and enforced workplace safety standards."

If confirmed, Su would replace Marty Walsh, who left the administration to become head of the National Hockey League Players' Association.

A source in the labor movement said the White House notified them of the decision earlier on Tuesday.

Before Biden announced his pick, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., showered praise on Su’s abilities.

“I’m just going to say: Julie Su is terrific. I worked with her back in California. And now, as deputy labor secretary, she is amazing,” Warren said Tuesday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, praised Su's nomination in a statement.

"I’m confident Julie Su will be an excellent Secretary of Labor. I look forward to working with her to protect workers’ rights and build the trade union movement in this country," Sanders said.

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus had pressed Biden to nominate Su for the Cabinet position.

"Her voice and perspective would be invaluable to the Administration, especially as there is no Secretary-level Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) official currently serving in your Cabinet," read a letter signed by nearly half of the 68-member caucus and sent to Biden this month.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had encouraged Biden to nominate former Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., who chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last cycle but lost his own seat in a close House race.

Politico first reported that Biden would nominate Su.