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Senator Budd Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Say No to Julie Su at Labor

Washington, D.C. — Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) and Americans for Prosperity North Carolina State Director Tyler Voigt wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal contending that Julie Su “would take California’s failed policies nationwide” if she became Secretary of Labor.

Read the full op-ed here or below:

Say No to Julie Su at Labor

Confirming her as secretary would take California’s failed policies nationwide.

By Ted Budd and Tyler Voigt

July 20, 2023 3:39 pm ET

The past few years have been tough on American workers: the sudden loss of jobs and income during the pandemic, inflation and the overall sense of economic uncertainty have all taken a toll. The White House might feel good about rebranding America’s lackluster economy under the laughable banner of “Bidenomics,” but for Americans struggling to make ends meet, President Biden’s economic policies only signal more pain to come.

Look no further than acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, whose permanent nomination to the post the Senate is considering. Before joining Mr. Biden’s Labor Department, Ms. Su served as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency under Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Ms. Su oversaw the disastrous rollout of California’s AB5, which reclassified tens of thousands of independent contractors as employees as a favor to Big Labor. It was so unpopular and unworkable that the California Legislature enacted a second law creating a laundry list of exempted industries and professions. California voters approved a ballot initiative to protect drivers for Uber, Lyft and other apps from being labeled employees.

Ms. Su also championed the FAST Recovery Act, which created an unaccountable bureaucracy to control wages and working conditions at fast-food restaurants. This anticompetitive bargaining tactic undermines the autonomy of independent businesses while forcing partisan union priorities onto workers. Though Mr. Newsom signed it into law last year, Californians succeeded in gathering enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot in the hopes of stopping its implementation.

If these case studies in Ms. Su’s command-and-control labor economics aren’t concerning enough, consider how Americans have been voting—with their feet.

The most recent census data show that liberal states like New York and California are no longer the economic powerhouses they once were. The fastest-growing region in the U.S. is the South—and it’s growing in direct opposition to the liberal consensus. A recent report found for the first time in U.S. history, the economic output of six states in the South—Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee—is outpacing the Northeast corridor.

Besides better scenery and milder winters, these new economic centers have a few important things in common: They are right-to-work states with lower average costs of living and, consequently, higher quality of life.

The first advantage would be immediately gutted by the Biden-Su agenda. Both have advocated for the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. This coercive bill would strip workers of their right to decline to join a union, which more than half of states protect.

The PRO Act would forcibly unionize millions of American workers. It would also tip the scales for union organizers by doing away with secret-ballot votes and automatically turning over personal contact information to make it easier for organizers to harass workers into union membership. We don’t even have to imagine what Ms. Su’s implementation would look like. The PRO Act contains some of the same tests and standards included in AB5. She also established a Criminal Investigation Unit, consisting of a specialized labor police force that would be deputized against businesses.

The 50 states offer us real-time tests on policy outcomes. The South isn’t only booming, it’s also luring people away from states that have higher taxes, forced unionization and ever-increasing costs of living. In this new American migration, the Northeast and California are bleeding talent and capital, most of which find its way to places like our home state of North Carolina, where businesses can more easily build and where workers already want to be.

Unless we want to strangle this economic progress, we can’t afford for Ms. Su to take the top job at the Labor Department. We can either pursue the trajectory set by the booming South, or we can allow Mr. Biden’s bureaucrats to kneecap the nation’s economic future.


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