WASHINGTON (Reuters) – United States President Joe Biden fired on Friday Social security Commissioner Andrew Saul, a holdover from the Trump administration, but Saul told the Washington Post he plans to be at work Monday morning as his term in office is not over.
"Andrew Saul refused to resign as requested and was notified that his commissioner appointment was terminated immediately," said a White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The official said Saul had "taken measures that are contrary to the agency's mandate and the president's political agenda". Among the actions of Saul quoted by the official was politicization Social security Disability benefits, ending the agency's teleworking policy and failing to repair its relationship with federal employee unions.
Saul was nominated by former President Donald Trump in 2019 and sworn in for a six-year term. Saul told the Post: “I consider myself the dubbed superintendent of Social security. "
Deputy Commissioner David Black, also appointed by Trump, was asked to resign and followed suit, the White House official said.
Biden has appointed Kilolo Kijakazi as acting commissioner while the search for a commissioner and a deputy commissioner is in progress, the official said. Kijakazi is currently the Agency's Deputy Commissioner for Aging and Disability Policy.
The Social security The administration, which oversees programs that fund the elderly and the disabled, referred questions about Saul and Black to the White House.
An attempt to reach Saul was unsuccessful.
Republican Senate Chairman Mitch McConnell said in a tweet before the announcement that Saul's dismissal was "an unprecedented and dangerous politicization of the" Social security Administration."
But Democratic MP Bill Pascrell, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee that oversees the agency, welcomed her removal. “You tried to destroy Social security“He said on Twitter.
As a businessman, Saul’s was General Partner of investment firm Saul Partners and ran two retail clothing chains.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; writing by Eric Beech; editing by Cynthia Osterman)