Becerra Confirmation Hearings Expected To Be Combative
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will testify before two Senate committees over the next two days, with Republicans opposed to his nomination to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
Biden HHS Nominee To Highlight Experience As GOP Gears Up For Fight
As the coronavirus pandemic reaches a new 500,000 death milestone, a political battle is brewing over who will take the helm of the Department of Health and Human Services. President Joe Biden's HHS nominee, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, will appear before two Senate committees on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s expected to be a tense two days, with many Republicans already waging battles against him for his staunchly liberal record. (Pecorin and Haslett, 2/23)
Biden Health Secretary Pick Xavier Becerra Braces For Contentious Senate Hearings
President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the powerful Department of Health and Human Services is preparing for two days of contentious hearings in a divided Senate, with allies fanning out to defend him as Republicans mobilize to tank his nomination. If he is confirmed, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former member of Congress, will have the daunting task of steering administration policy on the coronavirus pandemic and orchestrating Biden's goal to get health care to more Americans. He would also be the first Latino HHS secretary. (Kapur, 2/23)
GOP Working To Block Biden's Health Care Pick; Dems Unfazed
President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary faces two days of contentious Senate hearings. Republicans are portraying the Californian as unfit but Democrats are unfazed, accusing the GOP of playing politics despite the pandemic. Xavier Becerra, now attorney general of the nation’s most populous state, will be grilled by two panels. Tuesday, it’s the health committee’s turn, followed Wednesday by the Finance Committee, which will vote on sending Becerra’s nomination to the Senate floor. If confirmed, he’d be the first Latino to head the Department of Health and Human Services, a $1.4 trillion agency with a broad portfolio that includes health insurance programs, drug safety and approvals, advanced medical research and the welfare of children. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 2/23)
11 GOP Senators Slam Biden Pick For Health Secretary: 'No Meaningful Experience'
Eleven Senate Republicans announced their opposition to President Biden’s nominee for health secretary ahead of his confirmation hearings before two committees this week. The senators, led by Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), urged Biden in a letter to withdraw the nomination of Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, arguing he is unqualified to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). (Hellmann, 2/22)
‘Exceedingly Deep Convictions’: Inside Xavier Becerra’s Quest For Health Care For Immigrants
When President Barack Obama headed to the Capitol in 2009 to make a late-stage push for the Affordable Care Act, pleading to a joint session of Congress that the “season for action” had arrived, it wasn’t only Republicans who became affronted: then-Rep. Xavier Becerra, the California Democrat who had been lobbying for a more immigrant-friendly bill, listened as the president threw cold water on policies that they had been discussing for months. “There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false — the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally,” Obama said. (Severns, 2/22)
In other news about President Biden's administration —
Report: Obama Administration Veteran Fowler Tapped To Head CMMI
President Joe Biden has chosen Obama administration veteran Liz Fowler to lead the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), which has authority to shape key payment models, according to a report in Politico. Fowler is the latest Obama administration veteran to be reportedly chosen by Biden to oversee his healthcare agenda. He has reportedly chosen Chiquita Brooks-Lasure, another Obama veteran, to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). (King, 2/19)