The Senate on Thursday confirmed former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland as the new head of the Social Security Administration. O’Malley, who served as Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015, was confirmed by a bipartisan majority in a 94-4 vote.
O’Malley is the first former Governor to serve in the role in more than a decade. He replaces Deputy Commissioner Carolyn Colvin, who has been serving as interim leader since former Commissioner Nancy Berryhill stepped down last fall.
“Martin O’Malley is the right person for the job to help ensure that Social Security remains strong,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who helped lead the confirmation process. “As Governor, he fought to protect benefits and expand access to health care and earned income tax credits for Maryland seniors. At the Social Security Administration, he will continue to work to ensure that seniors have access to the benefits that they have earned over the course of their lives.”
O’Malley is no stranger to the agency: he served as Deputy Commissioner during President Bill Clinton’s administrations. During his tenure, he worked to extend coverage to millions of disabled workers and improved customer service.
In his confirmation hearing, O’Malley made clear his commitment to strengthening Social Security, noting the need to ensure that existing programs are efficient, effective, and provide an adequate safety net. He also highlighted the need to make sure the program remains solvent for coming generations.
Now that he has been confirmed, O’Malley will have the opportunity to put his ideas into practice. He has his work cut out for him as the social security system faces an estimated funding shortfall of $13.2 trillion over the next 75 years. With O’Malley at the helm, the hope is that he can help secure a stable future for the program.