Lawmakers press president for SSA nominee

The Social Security Administration has been led by acting commissioners for more than five years, and lawmakers are now urging President Trump to appoint permanent leadership at the agency.

The House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee on March 7, held a hearing titled, “Lacking a leader: Challenges facing the SSA after over five years of acting commissioners.”

“This is the largest single period of vacancy for the head of a department or major federal agency since the SSA became independent,” Chairman Sam Johnson (R-Texas) said at the hearing. “That’s just not right,” he added.

While acting commissioners can keep an agency running day to day, they do not have the same authority to lead as a senate-confirmed commissioner.

The Government Accountability Office said the SSA is violating the Vacancy Reform Act. 

“…we are reporting a violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (herein "the Vacancies Reform Act" or "Act") at the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) with respect to the commissioner position. Specifically, we are reporting that the service of Nancy A. Berryhill as Acting Commissioner at SSA after November 17, 2017, is in violation of the act,” the GAO report, also released on March 7, states.

“The president needs to nominate a commissioner without further delay. And once he does, the Senate should move quickly because the American people have waited too long,” Johnson said.

Watch the full hearing here


Reader comments

Fri, Mar 9, 2018

The do nothing congress and senate should work to find a reasonable candidate, but most are out doing very little for the benefit of the American people.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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