- Biden fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, who’s been on Democrats’ wish list for removal.
- Saul’s deputy, David Black, agreed to resign.
- Several leaders appointed by President Donald Trump are staying in their high-level posts
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
President Joe Biden fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, a holdover from the Trump administration who has been on Democrats’ wish list for removal.
He was notified of his termination when he refused to resign as requested, a White House official said on July 9. Saul told the Washington Post he would not leave and challenged the legality of his ouster. Saul’s deputy, David Black, agreed to resign when asked.
“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,” the White House official said in a statement.
Biden appointed Kilolo Kijakazi, currently the deputy commissioner for retirement and disability policy, as acting commissioner while the search for a commissioner and deputy commissioner is conducted, according to the official.
But there are other officials appointed by President Donald Trump who are sticking around in their high-level posts in the Biden administration.
That’s not unusual, said Eleanor Eagan, of The Revolving Door Project. Term limits and other circumstances keep a small portion of about 4,000 political appointees in their jobs when an administration changes hands.
“But the Trump administration was not usual in any sense, and the ways in which these people use their power, and then some of the abuses of power, certainly really point, in our opinion, to the need to remove them where it’s possible,” said Eagan, who has written about Trump holdovers.
Some political appointees, such as the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and the director of the FBI, are expected to stay, and others remain in their positions because the president wants to keep them, said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “Continuity is of high value,” he said.
Here’s more on Saul and Black — and the Trump-era officials who are continuing in top government positions months after he left office.
This story was first published on June 25, 2021 and has been updated to reflect latest developments.