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Obama to nominate new Social Security commissioner

Jun. 20, 2014 - 03:47PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

President Obama will nominate Social Security Administration deputy commissioner Carolyn Watts Colvin to be the new head of the agency, according to an announcement

Colvin has also served as the deputy commissioner since January, 2011 and as the acting commissioner since February, 2013.

“I am grateful for Carolyn’s past service in various roles at the Social Security Administration, and I am confident that she will serve the American people well in her new role. I look forward to working with her in the months and years to come,” President Obama said in a statement.

Witold Skwierczynski, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees National Council of SSA Field Operations Locals, said he was hopeful the nomination would spur a debate on the future of the agency.

While the union commends Colvin for increasing communication between the agency and the union it has reservations about agency efforts to close field offices in favor of online services.

“Her decisions to close field offices in many cases without prior justification and to stop the distribution of essential documents at field offices will place unnecessary burdens on the public,” Skwierczynski said.

Skwierczynski said that the SSA should not diminish, but rather expand its customer service offerings to meet the needs of the tens of millions of baby-boomers set to enter retirement over the next decade.

Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Fla., the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee subcommittee on Social Security, said he welcomed the nomination.

“Social Security is a sacred bond between generations, and it has made America a better country. Commissioner Colvin understands how vital Social Security is for our seniors, disabled workers and their families, widows, and children,” Becerra said in a statement.

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