Washington – President Joe Biden removed Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, who had refused to resign.
On the other hand, the deputy commissioner presented his resignation and Biden accepted it, the White House reported.
Both had been appointed during the presidency of Donald Trump.RELATED
Biden had asked Saul to resign and when Saul refused, Biden fired him, a White House official reported. He added that Deputy Commissioner David Black did agree to resign.
Biden appointed Kilolo Kijakazi as Acting Commissioner while the search for a permanent replacement for the two positions unfolds.
Kijakazi is currently in charge of the Department of Retiree and Disability Assistance at the Social Security Administration.
Saul’s removal came after a legal opinion from the Justice Department that he can be removed, despite a clause that he can only be fired for negligence or violation of the rules.
The ruling – investigated at the request of the White House – concluded that the president does have the power to remove him based on a recent Supreme Court assessment.
Biden’s move received immediate approval from the Democratic senator who would be in charge of confirming Saul’s successor. Republicans accuse Biden of politicizing that official agency, noting that Saul was confirmed bipartisan by the Senate in 2019.