Federal Government Of The United States
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The federal government of the United States is the of the , a located primarily in , composed of 50 , a city within a , five major and several . The federal government, sometimes simply referred to as Washington, is composed of three distinct branches: , , and , whose powers are vested by the in the , the and the , respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of Congress, including the creation of and courts inferior to the .
Biden Fires Head Of Social Security Administration
President Biden on Friday fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, a holdover from the Trump administration, after Saul refused a request to resign from his position.
A White House official confirmed that Sauls employment was terminated. The move was first reported by The Washington Post.
David Black, Sauls deputy who was also appointed to the position by former President Trump, resigned at Bidens request, the official said.
Biden has named Kilolo Kijakazi as acting commissioner as he searches for a permanent replacement for the position. Bidens nominee will need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Kijakazi is currently the Social Security Administrations deputy commissioner for retirement and disability policy and previously served as a fellow at the Urban Institute and a policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
According to the Post, Saul, who was confirmed in 2019 by a 77-16 Senate vote to a six-year term at the helm of the Social Security Administration , argued that the White House did not have the power to remove him.
I consider myself the term-protected Commissioner of Social Security, Saul told the Post in an interview Friday afternoon, denouncing the Friday Night Massacre. He also said he intended to return to work on Monday remotely.
House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Kevin Brady and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Mike Crapo issued a statement criticizing the move as a partisan decision.
Acting Commissioner Dr Kilolo Kijakazi
Dr. Kilolo Kijakazi is the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration .
Prior to her appointment as Acting Commissioner under the Social Security Act, Dr. Kijakazi served as the Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at SSA from January 2021- July 2021. During her time as Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Kijakazi advised the Commissioner on policy issues and was responsible for planning and managing the development of program policy, policy research and evaluation, and statistical programs to inform programs administered by SSA. These programs include Retirement and Survivors Insurance, Disability Insurance, and Supplemental Security Income.
From 2014 – 2021, Dr. Kijakazi served as an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute where she developed collaborative partnerships to expand and strengthen Urbans rigorous research agenda, effectively communicate findings to diverse audiences, and recruit and retain a diverse research staff at all levels. Dr. Kijakazi also conducted research in the areas of economic security, structural racism, and the racial wealth gap.
Dr. Kijakazi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York, Binghamton, a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University, and a PhD in public policy from the George Washington University.
Additional accomplishments and experiences are as follows:
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Why Biden Fired The Head Of The Social Security Administration
President Joe Biden on Friday fired Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul, a Trump appointee who had drawn criticism from Democrats and advocacy groups for seeking to restrict benefits and taking a staunch anti-union stance in dealing with the labor groups that represent the agencys 60,000 employees.
Saul, whose six-year term was set to end in January 2025, was reportedly fired after refusing to a White House request to resign. Deputy Commissioner David Black, also appointed by President Trump, resigned Friday upon request. Kiloko Kijakazi, the Biden-appointed deputy commissioner for retirement and disability policy, will serve as acting head of the agency.
Bidens move came a day after the Justice Department issued a memorandum opinion that said the president could legally remove the Social Security commissioner at will in light of recent Supreme Court decisions. Under the Social Security Act, a new president can fire the commissioner only for cause, but Biden last month quickly removed the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, after the Supreme Court ruled he could do so. The high court also ruled last year that restrictions on the removal of the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were unconstitutional.
Republicans warn of dangerous politicization: A number of Republicans slammed Bidens move.
Biden Fires Top Official At Social Security Administration After He Refuses To Resign
Biden had asked for the top two officials at the Social Security Administration to submit their resignations, the White House official told CNN, but only Saul refused. Deputy Commissioner David Black agreed to submit his resignation, the official said, and it was accepted.
Since taking office, Commissioner Saul has undermined and politicized Social Security disability benefits, terminated the agencys telework policy that was utilized by up to 25 percent of the agencys workforce, not repaired SSAs 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 Presidents policy agenda, the White House official said.
The President has appointed Kilolo Kijakazi as acting commissioner while the search for a commissioner and deputy commissioner is conducted.
The Washington Post was first to report on Sauls dismissal.
Sauls six-year term was not set to expire until January 19, 2025.
The White House cited a Supreme Court ruling establishing the Presidents ability to remove Saul from the role, according to the Post.
I consider myself the term-protected Commissioner of Social Security, he said.
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Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Company
The Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Company was founded in 1941 as a civil defense unit. At the conclusion of World War II, the fire company incorporated and began to provide fire suppression and ambulance service to the community. The fire house is currently located on Woodlawn Drive near Windsor Mill. It is one of 33 volunteer fire companies in Baltimore County. The County Fire Department comprises 26 “career” fire companies and 33 volunteer companies.
Social Security Administrationlegality Of Service Of Acting Commissioner
B-333543Skip to Highlights
The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 , 5 U.S.C. §§ 33453349d, is the exclusive means for an acting official to serve in a vacant executive branch position that requires presidential appointment and Senate confirmation unless another statutory provision expressly designates an acting officer or authorizes the President, a court, or the head of an executive department to make a designation. Section 702 of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 902, provides that the President may designate an Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. On July 9, 2021, the President designated an Acting Commissioner of Social Security pursuant to the Social Security Act, not the Vacancies Act. Neither the Vacancies Act’s time limitations on acting service nor the restrictions on performance of the position’s functions and duties apply to the Acting Commissioner.
Matter of: Social Security AdministrationLegality of Service of Acting Commissioner
Date: February 1, 2022
In accordance with our regular practice, we contacted SSA to seek factual information and its legal views on this matter. SSA responded with its explanation of the pertinent facts and legal analysis. SSA also provided a copy of the Presidents designation of Dr. Kijakazi as Acting Commissioner.
Dr. Kijakazis Eligibility
42 U.S.C. § 902.
Time Limitations on Dr. Kijakazis Acting Service
Other Limitations on Dr. Kijakazis Acting Service
Old Age Survivors And Disability
SSA administers the retirement, survivors, and disabled social insurance programs, which can provide monthly benefits to aged or disabled workers, their spouses and children, and to the survivors of insured workers. In 2010, more than 54 million Americans received approximately $712 billion in Social Security benefits. The programs are primarily financed by taxes which employers, employees, and the self-insured pay annually. These revenues are placed into a special trust fund. These programs are collectively known as Retirement, Survivors, Disability Insurance .
SSA administers its disability program partly through its Office of Disability Adjudication and Review , which has regional offices and hearing offices across the United States. ODAR publishes a manual, called HALLEX, which contains instructions for its employees regarding how to implement its guiding principles and procedures.
The RSDI program is the primary benefits program administered by the U.S. federal government, and for some beneficiaries is the vital source of income. Increasing access to this benefit program for low-income or homeless individuals is one of SSA’s goals. SSA is a member of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and works with other municipal, county, state, local and federal partners to increase access and approval for SSI/SSDI benefits who are eligible.
Nearly Two Years Into His Tenure President Biden Has Yet To Name His Choice To Lead The Agency Despite Low Morale Mounting Attrition And Lack Of Progress In Labor
A group of 16 Senate Democrats last week urged President Biden to nominate a permanent commissioner of the Social Security Administration, attributing persistent workforce issues at the agency in part to the lack of Senate-confirmed leadership.
The Social Security Administration has operating under Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi since Biden fired former Commissioner Andrew Saul and Deputy Commissioner David Black, both holdovers from the Trump administration, in July 2021. Those appointees ouster came after months of urging from lawmakers and federal employee unions, who accused them of dragging their feet on implementation of Biden-era initiatives aimed at rolling back the Trump administrations anti-union policies.
But in the 16 months since then, Biden has failed to nominate a permanent commissioner for consideration by the Senate. And per several metrics, not much has changed at the agency in the intervening time: already understaffed, Social Security continues to hemorrhage staff, while unions report a continued lack of progress in implementing the presidents labor policies.
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Overview Of The Federal Judiciary
Article III section I of the Constitution establishes the and authorizes the United States Congress to establish inferior courts as their need shall arise. Section I also establishes a lifetime tenure for all federal judges and states that their compensation may not be diminished during their time in office. Article II section II establishes that all federal judges are to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the .
The subdivided the nation jurisdictionally into and created federal courts for each district. The three tiered structure of this act established the basic structure of the national judiciary: the Supreme Court, 13 courts of appeals, 94 district courts, and two courts of special jurisdiction. Congress retains the power to re-organize or even abolish federal courts lower than the Supreme Court.
There are three levels of federal courts with general jurisdiction, meaning that these courts handle criminal cases and civil lawsuits between individuals. Other courts, such as the and the , are specialized courts handling only certain kinds of cases . The Bankruptcy Courts are “under” the supervision of the district courts, and, as such, are not considered part of the “” judiciary. Also as such, their judges do not have lifetime tenure, nor are they Constitutionally exempt from diminution of their remuneration. The Tax Court is not an Article III court .
Biden Fires Holdover Head Of Social Security Administration
President Biden on Friday fired the commissioner of the Social Security Administration after the official refused to resign and accepted the deputy commissioners resignation, the White House said.
Biden asked Commissioner Andrew Saul to resign, and his employment was terminated after he refused the presidents request, a White House official said.
Deputy Commissioner David Black agreed to resign, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
Both officials had been put in place under President Trump.
Biden named Kilolo Kijakazi as acting commissioner while the administration conducts a search for a permanent commissioner and deputy commissioner.
Kijakazi currently is the deputy commissioner for retirement and disability policy at the Social Security Administration.
Sauls removal followed a Justice Department legal opinion that found he could be removed, despite a statute that says he could only be fired for neglecting his duties or malfeasance.
The opinion researched at the request of the White House concluded that a reevaluation because of a recent Supreme Court ruling meant that Saul could be fired by the president at will.
Bidens move got immediate support from the Democratic senator who would be in charge of confirming a successor to Saul. Republican senators accused Biden of politicizing the agency and pointed to Sauls confirmation by a bipartisan Senate vote in 2019.
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Relationships Between State And Federal Courts
Separate from, but not entirely independent of, this federal court system are the court systems of each state, each dealing with, in addition to federal law when not deemed preempted, a state’s own laws, and having its own court rules and procedures. Although state governments and the federal government are legally dual sovereigns, the Supreme Court of the United States is in many cases the appellate court from the State Supreme Courts . The are by this doctrine the final authority on the interpretation of the applicable state’s laws and Constitution. Many state constitution provisions are equal in breadth to those of the U.S. Constitution, but are considered “parallel” .
A State Supreme Court, other than of its own accord, is bound only by the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of federal law, but is not bound by interpretation of federal law by the federal court of appeals for the federal circuit in which the state is included, or even the federal district courts located in the state, a result of the dual sovereigns concept. Conversely, a federal district court hearing a matter involving only a question of state law must apply the substantive law of the state in which the court sits, a result of the application of the however, at the same time, the case is heard under the , the and the instead of state procedural rules . Together, the laws of the federal and state governments form .
Heres Where The President Stands After The Midterm Elections
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Mr. Saul did not immediately return a message seeking comment. As of Friday evening, the Biden administration had removed his biography from the commissioners page on the Social Security Administration website. The developments were reported earlier by The Washington Post.
Democrats have sought to oust Mr. Saul from his position since the early days of Mr. Bidens administration.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committees Social Security subcommittee, called for Mr. Sauls resignation in February. Mr. Brown said Mr. Saul had sought to issue regulations meant to reduce access to Social Security disability benefits including denying benefits to an estimated 100,000 potential recipients who do not speak English fluently.
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Neal Brady Call On The Social Security Administration To Safeguard Visitors In Hot Summer Months
WASHINGTON, DCToday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady urged Social Security Administration Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi to ensure the agency is taking necessary precautions to best serve visitors in the summer months.
We write to urge the Social Security Administration to ensure that visitors to SSA offices are served effectively and safely, and are not waiting in line outside in the summer heat in many areas of the country, wrote the Chairman and Ranking Member. We appreciate the efforts SSA has taken to accept in-person visits and reopen field offices to the public in April 2022We strongly urge SSA to take additional action to address the safety needs of individuals who are seeking field office services.
The full letter is available HERE.
Senators Urge Biden To Fill Leadership Posts At Social Security Administration
Washington Senator Edward J. Markey today joined his colleagues led by Senators Chris Van Hollen and Sherrod Brown in a letter to President Biden, urging him to nominate a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner to serve at the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration has been without permanent leadership for over a year, making it difficult to address longstanding challenges that the agency faces in providing service to Americans who rely on these benefits.
Today Social Security covers over 179 million workers, and over 70 million people receive monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits. More than one out of every six U.S. residents collects Social Security benefits and older Americans make up about four out of every five beneficiaries,” the Senators wrote. “Recent U.S. Census Bureau reports show that Social Security provides over half of the income for older adults, and nearly all of their income for one in four older adults. Social Security continues to be one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the country, lifting over 22 million Americans out of poverty.
Joining Senator Markey in signing the letter led by Senators Van Hollen and Brown were Senators Carper , Padilla , Baldwin , Casey , Whitehouse , Markey , Cardin , Murray , Gillibrand , Sanders , Warren , Schatz , Feinstein , and Blumenthal .
A copy of the letter can be read HERE and below.
Dear President Biden,
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