Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, following his failure to hand over his resignation to President Joe Biden, was fired by the President himself, as told by a White House official to CNN.
Saul was the only one who rejected Biden’s request for the two leading Social Security Administration to resign, as Deputy Commissioner David Black followed the President’s order. The White House official said Black’s resignation was accepted.
“Since taking office, Commissioner Saul has undermined and politicized Social Security disability benefits, terminated the agency’s telework policy that was utilized by up to 25 percent of the agency’s workforce, not repaired SSA’s relationships with relevant Federal employee unions including in the context of COVID-19 workplace safety planning, reduced due process protections for benefits appeals hearings, and taken other actions that run contrary to the mission of the agency and the President’s policy agenda,” according to the White House official.
Kilolo Kijakazi was appointed by Biden to serve as the acting commissioner as filling the commissioner and deputy commissioner positions are underway.
At present, Kijakazi serves as the Social Security Administration’s deputy commissioner for retirement and disability policy. She used to also handle the Urban Institute as a fellow before, as well as became the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ senior policy analyst.
Kijakazi had a doctorate in public policy and joined, and even headed, research on Social Security, economic security, racial equity and retirement security.
Saul’s dismissal was reported by the Washington Post.
The sacked official’s term was supposed to stay until January 19, 2025.
In a report by the Post, a Supreme Court ruling was cited by the White House to prove that the president has the power to fire Saul, CNN reported.
However, Saul told an interview with the Post that he wants to stay in his position, asking the legal bases of the White House to dismiss him.
“I consider myself the term-protected Commissioner of Social Security,” Saul said.