President Biden fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul Friday after he refused Biden’s request to resign. His Deputy, David Black, resigned upon request. Many have been calling for the ouster of these two Trump appointees almost ever since Biden took office.
You may recall they caused inordinate delays in SS recipients receiving their covid stimulus checks by refusing to provide the necessary info to the IRS. Conversely, they caused no such problems during Trump’s administration. There were also numerous other complaints against them, both for mistreatment of SS employees, and for taking actions contrary to the agency’s mission to advocate for the elderly and disabled, including reducing due process protections for benefit appeal hearings and overzealously campaigning to make the disabled reestablish their eligibility.
Nevertheless, Saul is “very upset” about his dismissal, claiming he would challenge his ouster rather than leave his post, calling it a “Friday Night Massacre” and “a bolt of lightening no one expected.” (What a drama queen!) Saul, 74, was well aware many had been calling for his ouster. He is a wealthy former women’s apparel executive and prominent Republican donor who served on the board of a conservative think tank calling for SS cuts, so good riddance. Biden named the current deputy commissioner for retirement and disability policy to serve as acting commissioner until a permanent nominee is selected.
Mitch McConnell tweeted his two cents also: “This removal would be an unprecedented and dangerous politicization of the Social Security Administration.” But the Supreme Court issued two rulings recently strengthening executive power when it comes to executive agencies led by a single appointee.
Accordingly, Biden also recently removed and replaced the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Too bad the USPS isn’t led by a single appointee, so he could fire Louis DeJoy.