Despite expired term, SSA Commissioner Astrue still working


For anyone who’s wondering, Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael Astrue remains on the job, even though his six-year term officially ran out last Saturday.

In an email today, SSA spokeswoman Kia Anderson cited the federal law that allows Astrue to stay until the Senate confirms his successor. Given that President Obama has yet to even nominate a possible replacement, Astrue could continue to lead the agency for some time to come. Also remaining in place is Deputy Commissioner Carolyn Colvin.

Astrue, a Massachusetts lawyer and published poet (how many top-level feds can claim that kind of life experience?), was named Social Security commissioner by former President George W. Bush and has held the job since early 2007. In the email, Anderson noted that Astrue has said repeatedly that he would not seek reappointment to another term.

Because Astrue has not spoken with Obama “about the precise timing of his return to Massachusetts . . . ,” Anderson added, “it would be inappropriate to speculate about that subject.”


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  1. If President Obama is serious about what he said in his inaugural address about Social Security then he needs to back it up with the speedy appointment of a new Commissioner.

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