Tags: Abortion | Biden Administration | neera tanden | xavier becerra | hhs | cabinet | gop

With Tanden Down, GOP Focuses Fire on Biden HHS Choice Becerra

becerra in a suit at a podium with a ca attorney general seal
Xavier Becerra (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 03 March 2021 03:02 PM Current | Bio | Archive

With the tie vote (14-to-14) in the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday afternoon on the nomination of Xavier Becerra to be secretary of Health and Human Services, it was obvious that the California attorney general and liberal Democrat was now the Republicans' top target of President Joe Biden's Cabinet nominees.

The vote along party lines came less than 12 hours after Neera Tanden asked that the president withdraw her own doomed appointment to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.

All 50 Senate Republicans plus Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia weighed in against Tanden and thus ensured her defeat.

Clearly emboldened by Tanden's exit, Senate Republicans are now focusing on Becerra and especially on his strong support of abortion and "Medicare for All."

Another salvo of anti-Becerra ads by CatholicVote.org and the Susan B. Anthony List hit hard at the nominee's abortion position.

Moreover, there is a multi-million dollar digital campaign against Becerra launched by Judicial Crisis Network, Heritage Action for America, and Americans for Public Trust. In slamming Becerra's stand in favor of abortion, the spots charge that he "sued Catholic nuns" and would "decriminalize illegal immigration."

"This isn't complicated: In the middle of a deadly global pandemic, Americans want their Department of Health and Human Services to be focused on health and human services — not culture wars," declared Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., on Wednesday afternoon, announcing his opposition to the nominee.

He added that "[i]f bullying nuns and trampling First Amendment rights could magically cure COVID, Becerra would be qualified. He's not right for the job and the Senate needs to reject this hyper-partisan nomination."

But without any signal of similar opposition from Manchin or another Senate Democrat, Becerra's nomination is likely to proceed to the Senate floor and be confirmed on a tie vote with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote to confirm.

The last Cabinet member to be confirmed after a tie vote was broken by the vice president was Betsy DeVos, confirmed as secretary of education in 2017.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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John-Gizzi
With the tie vote (14-to-14) in the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday afternoon on the nomination of Xavier Becerra to be secretary of Health and Human Services, it was obvious that the California attorney general and liberal Democrat was now the Republicans' top target of...
neera tanden, xavier becerra, hhs, cabinet, gop
358
2021-02-03
Wednesday, 03 March 2021 03:02 PM
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