President Joe Biden reportedly fired Andrew Saul from his post at the helm of the Social Security Administration prior to the completion of a six-year term.
In response, Saul has vowed to take the Biden administration to court.
“A bolt of lightning no one expected”
“I consider myself the term-protected Commissioner of Social Security,” he declared. “This was the first I or my deputy knew this was coming. It was a bolt of lightning no one expected.”
As a result of the abrupt termination, he said that the agency has been left “in complete turmoil.”
Saul’s refusal to quietly accept his fate has resulted in widespread criticism of the Biden administration amid several other ongoing White House scandals.
In a statement, however, one unnamed official made it clear that Saul does not have a place in the Biden administration.
“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,” the statement declared.
“An unprecedented and dangerous politicization”
While it is not uncommon for an incoming president to remove holdovers in the executive branch, it remains to be seen what legal grounds Saul might have in resisting his removal.
Some GOP lawmakers have already taken notice of the development and are demanding that Saul remain in his position.
In a tweet, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) insisted: “Social Security Commissioner Saul has bipartisan backing … Saul was confirmed by Senate in 2019 w a vote of 77 to 16 to 6yr term that doesn’t expire til January 19, 2025/ DONT POLITICIZE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN.”
For his part, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blasted the move as “an unprecedented and dangerous politicization of the Social Security Administration.
Considering the bipartisan approval Saul received upon his confirmation to the position in 2019, it appears that the president has picked a fight that will only further complicate things for his administration.