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Government & Politics

Biden taps O’Malley to lead Social Security Administration

Former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) spoke at the unveiling of his official portrait in Annapolis last week. Photo from the Executive Office of the Governor.

A former Maryland governor is on track to become the next head of the Social Security Administration.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced the appointment of Martin O’Malley as commissioner of the agency that is headquartered in Woodlawn. O’Malley’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

“As mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland, he adopted data and performance-driven technologies to tackle complex challenges facing the communities he served – and I saw the results firsthand when we worked together during my time as vice president,” Biden said in a statement. “As governor, he made government work more effectively across his administration and enhanced the way millions of people accessed critical services.”

The agency O’Malley would lead faces “significant financing issues,” according to an annual report by the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees.

That report noted that the current system has enough money to pay 100% benefits through 2033. In 2034, recipients would receive 77% of scheduled benefits.

If confirmed, O’Malley would succeed acting-Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi, who was appointed to the position in July 2021. The agency has been without a permanent head since Biden fired the commissioner and deputy commissioner. Both were appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump.

O’Malley served as the 61st governor of Maryland from 2007- to 2015. Before that, he was elected twice as Baltimore mayor.

He also mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2016.

Last week, O’Malley and his wife, retired Baltimore City District Court Judge Catherine Curran O’Malley, were the guests of honor at a reception in Annapolis where the couple’s official portraits were unveiled eight years after he left office.


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Biden taps O’Malley to lead Social Security Administration