Politics

Biden HHS Choice Becerra In Trouble

How will Manchin and Sinema vote?

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In a 50-50 Senate you lose one vote you lose the entire vote. Biden HHS pick Xavier Becerra got out of committee on Wednesday with a tie. Not a good omen for him. But per the vote in the full Senate, will Joe Manchin or Krysten Sinema kill this nominee like Manchin killed the Tanden nomination?

FNC: “Fresh off President Biden withdrawing Neera Tanden’s nomination for head of the Office of Management and Budget, Republicans are now looking to prevent the confirmation of Health and Human Services nominee Xavier Becerra.

The Senate Finance Committee did not make a determination on the Becerra nomination, after a vote on the nomination resulted in a tie, split along party lines. The vote took place at an executive session of the finance committee Wednesday morning. Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. announced that the tie vote will be reported to the secretary of the Senate. He noted that it is up to the Senate majority or minority leader to bring a motion to discharge the nomination for a vote by the full Senate. Hours after Tanden requested to be removed from consideration due to opposition from both sides of the aisle, the Senate Finance Committee voted on Becerra’s nomination. A number of Republicans voiced concern over Becerra’s professional background, believing the California attorney general is not qualified to lead HHS.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, said Becerra’s nomination “a puzzling selection for this critical post,” and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA, said he could have voted for Becerra, “but you’ve got to at least know something about the subject matter,” according to The Hill. “If I as a doctor was appointed to be the attorney general of the United States of America, what would you think? That’s kind of odd,” he added.

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Ranking committee member Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said in the meeting that he wouldn’t be supporting Becerra, but said that they “do share some areas of common interest and concern,” such as expanding tele-health and improving Medicare financial efficiency.

“If there is an effort to paint the attorney general as some kind of inexperienced radical it’s just not backed up by what the committee saw last week,” said Democrat Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. “But disagreement on some issues alone is not a good enough reason to oppose a nominee as knowledgeable and qualified as Attorney General Becerra.”

A conservative PAC has zeroed in on Becerra and is running ads in West Virginia and Arizona, home of Manchin and Sinema.

“Becerra has zero medical experience, unless you count suing Catholic nuns trying to force them to pay for abortions,” Heritage Action for America’s Arizona ad says, recalling his role in a case against the Catholic group Little Sisters of the Poor. While Becerra didn’t launch the lawsuit against the nuns, he backed it. Not smart at all. Not to mention, wholly evil.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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