President Biden has fired Trump-appointed head of Social Security agency Andrew Saul after he refused to resign.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner David Black agreed to resign on his own terms.
According to the Washington Post “Saul, who was confirmed in 2019 by a 77-16 Senate vote to a six-year term at the helm of the Social Security Administration (SSA), argued that the White House did not have the power to remove him.”
“I consider myself the term-protected Commissioner of Social Security,” Saul told Wapo, while blasting the “Friday Night Massacre.”
He also said he had intended to return to work on Monday remotely.
“This was the first I or my deputy knew this was coming,” Saul said of the White House email he received. “It was a bolt of lightning no one expected. And right now it’s left the agency in complete turmoil.”
A White House official said “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.”