New York businessman Andrew Saul testifies before the Senate Finance Committee during his hearing as Commissioner for Social Security Administration in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill October 02, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
President Joe Biden fired the social security chief on Friday after the official appointed by former President Donald Trump refused to resign.
The White House said Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul “undermined and politicized” the agency’s benefits, including which justified his dismissal. Saul’s deputy, David Black, who was also appointed by Trump, resigned on Friday at the request of the White House.
“Since taking office, Commissioner Saul has undermined and politicized social security disability benefits, terminated the agency’s teleworking policy used by up to 25 percent of the agency’s workforce, failed to terminate the SSA’s relationships with relevant federal employee unions, including in the context of COVID- repaired. 19 Occupational safety planning, reduced protection from due process in appeal hearings and other actions taken that run counter to the agency’s mandate and the president’s political agenda, “the White House said.
However, Saul told the Washington Post that he would like to get back to work on Monday.
Read more about CNBC’s political coverage:
“This was the first time I or my deputy knew about it,” Saul told the newspaper, referring to the email he received Friday morning from the White House Human Resources office. “It was a bolt of lightning that nobody expected. And at the moment it has left the agency in a state of turmoil.”
Saul, 74, is a longtime Republican donor, a former vice chairman of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and a wealthy businessman who turned over women’s clothing company Cache.
The president named Kilolo Kijakazi, currently deputy commissioner for pensions and disability policies, as acting commissioner, a White House official told NBC News.
Kijakazi previously worked as a fellow at the Urban Institute, as a program officer for the Ford Foundation, and as a senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A search for the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner will be carried out.