Largest federal union backs O’Malley for Social Security commissioner

The American Federation of Government Employees is backing President Biden’s nomination of former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to be the next commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

The AFGE SSA General Committee voted unanimously this week to endorse O’Malley’s nomination. The committee manages AFGE councils representing SSA employees in field offices, teleservice centers, workload support units, hearings and appeals, and payment centers. It also oversees AFGE locals representing employees at SSA headquarters, as well as the body’s operations center in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. 

The AFGE represents approximately 43,000 employees of the Social Security Administration. In total, the AFGE is the largest federal employee union, representing 750,000 federal employees as well as employees of the District of Columbia.

“No federal agency reaches as many Americans as the Social Security Administration,” Rich Couture, president of AFGE Council 215, said in a statement. “SSA deserves a leader with full authority to implement a positive vision that will simultaneously improve public service and employee working conditions. Governor O’Malley is that leader.”

Everett Kelley, national president of AFGE, echoed Couture’s remarks, urging the Senate to confirm O’Malley’s nomination without delay.

“Social Security is a critical lifeline to tens of millions of Americans, and the agency deserves to be led by a permanent commissioner who will fight every day for SSA’s people and programs,” Kelley said.

Following his second term as Maryland Governor, O’Malley announced his candidacy for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination in May 2015. He suspended his campaign in February 2016 after finishing third in the Iowa caucuses and declared his support for Hillary Clinton four months later.

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