Labor Secretary Walsh Leaving Biden Administration

February 17, 2023 by Dan McCue
Labor Secretary Walsh Leaving Biden Administration
FILE - Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh speaks before President Joe Biden at a United Steel Workers of America Labor Day event in West Mifflin, Pa., Monday, Sept. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Rebecca Droke, File)

WASHINGTON — Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, a longtime friend and advisor to President Joe Biden, is leaving the administration in March to become the next executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association.

The association announced Walsh’s career change on Thursday and the labor secretary confirmed his departure shortly thereafter.

He is the first Cabinet-level member of Biden’s inner circle to leave the administration.

In the past few weeks two other close advisers to the president, Chief of Staff Ron Klain and Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, announced their own departures.

“Earlier this week I met with [the president] and he accepted that my time as labor secretary will conclude mid-March,” Walsh said in the first of a series of tweets he posted on the matter Thursday afternoon.

“As a second-generation card-carrying union member, serving as your secretary of labor in the most pro-worker administration in our history is an immense privilege,” he added.

On Friday, the president weighed in calling Walsh “one tough union chief” at the start of a lengthy statement.

“His record at the Department of Labor is a testament to the power of putting a card-carrying union member in charge of fighting for American workers,” the president said. 

“Marty has gone to bat for working families every day, and with his help, this administration has helped workers recover from a historic economic downturn and launch a new era of worker power.

“Through Marty’s leadership, this administration has helped unions secure a historic pay raise for rail workers, continued the fight for paid sick days for all American workers, strengthened workplace protections, and ushered in a historic surge in union organizing. He knows that unions make us all stronger, no matter what we do or where we come from,” Biden continued.

“My dad used to say that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck, it’s about dignity and it’s about respect,” Biden said. “Few people understand that more than Marty. I thank Marty for his work, which has made life better for millions of working Americans, and will serve as a model for all future labor secretaries who truly value American working people.”

Walsh also used his twitter account on Thursday to tout the experience of one possible successor, Deputy Labor Secretary Julie Su, whom he thanked for her “exceptional work” and her support during his tenure as secretary.

Su is considered the front runner to succeed Walsh, though former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is also said to have an interest in the post. 

Meanwhile, getting ahead of the curve, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus recently threw its support behind Su’s potential appointment as Walsh’s replacement in a significant public display of support for an Asian American to join Biden’s Cabinet.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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