Republicans Not Likely To Filibuster Sebelius Nomination, Grassley SaysSenate Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Wednesday said that he would not vote to continue a filibuster on the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) as HHS secretary and indicated that Senate Republican leaders might not attempt one, CQ Today reports. According to CQ Today, Grassley's statements "further strengthe[n] the chances that [Sebelius] will be confirmed."
Antiabortion-rights groups have lobbied Republicans to oppose Sebelius' nomination because of her support of abortion rights and her acceptance of campaign funds from an abortion provider (Wayne, CQ Today, 4/22). Several antiabortion-rights groups on Wednesday sent a letter to senators asking them to vote against Sebelius, Roll Call reports (Brady, Roll Call, 4/22).
Grassley said that he plans to vote against the nomination when it comes before the full Senate, but added, "It's going to move ahead. And if she gets 51 votes, she is our nominee" (CQ Today, 4/22).
According to a Senate Republican aide, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) likely will be forced to file cloture on Sebelius' nomination because there is little chance of unanimous consent to proceed directly to a vote. However, the aide said that Republicans have not placed any holds on the nomination (Edney, CongressDaily, 4/23). Senate Democratic leaders have not decided when to bring the nomination to the Senate floor, according to a Reid spokesperson (CQ Today, 4/22). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.