Thu. Mar 4th, 2021

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Tuesday faces the primary of two hearings this week on his nomination to be Well being and Human Companies secretary, with Republicans mobilizing to characterize Becerra’s coverage positions as excessive.

Among the many points that can take middle stage are his assist for offering insurance coverage to individuals right here illegally, in addition to his assist whereas in Congress for abortion rights and Medicare for All.

Republicans are additionally anticipated to make him defend the greater than 100 lawsuits California filed difficult Trump administration insurance policies because the state’s lawyer basic. He seems earlier than the Senate Well being, Schooling, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday.

Solely the Finance committee will vote on the nomination earlier than sending it to the complete Senate.

In a Senate divided 50-50, Democrats may affirm Becerra if the caucus sticks collectively and Vice President Kamala Harris breaks the tie.

However the Nationwide Evaluation reported Monday that average Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is undecided on whether or not to assist Becerra, placing his nomination in query.

Conservative teams see Becerra as one in every of Biden’s most weak nominees and have already lined up in opposition, calling his coverage positions radical and saying in the course of the pandemic Biden ought to have picked a health care provider to guide the company.

Becerra was among the many small group of lawmakers who helped write the Inexpensive Care Act, often known as Obamacare, and entry to healthcare was a signature problem throughout his two dozen years within the Home. Abortion rights and baby advocacy teams have lined up in assist of Becerra.

When he turned California lawyer basic in 2017, Becerra led the state’s efforts to dam Republicans from repealing the Inexpensive Care Act and fought with a nonprofit led by Catholic nuns who sought an exemption from a provision within the regulation requiring employer-sponsored well being plans to cowl the price of contraceptives.

Solely three of the 12 earlier secretaries of the division have had medical levels. Becerra can be the primary Latino secretary of Well being and Human Companies.

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