On Thursday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was confirmed as President Joe Biden’s Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by the U.S. Senate.
According to the New York Post, Becerra was confirmed following a vote tally of 50-49 as 1 Republican, Sen. Susan Collins, voted alongside 49 Democrats in favor of Becerra.
In defense of her vote, Collins explained that while she strongly disagrees with Becerra on a number of issues, he “merits confirmation as HHS secretary.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) was the only Democrat not to vote on Becerra’s confirmation because she was absent from Thursday’s Senate confirmation hearing. Hirono, however, did clarify that she would have supported Becerra’s nomination.
Becerra, who was first nominated by Biden last December, was met with resistance from pro-life leaders due to his radical stance on abortion, while over 70 Congressmembers and nearly a dozen GOP Senators have voiced similar concerns over abortion as well as Becerra’s lack of experience in healthcare, medicine, and public health.
During Thursday’s hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Tx) argued that Becerra is the “single-worst cabinet nominee” put forward by Biden. He highlights Becerra’s lack of experience that would qualify him as HHS while saying that the only qualification that earned Becerra’s nomination was that he is “a radical, left-wing, trial attorney.
“If a Republican president had nominated someone to HHS like Xavier Becerra with zero health care experience, zero medical experience, zero pharmaceutical experience in the midst of a global pandemic, they would have been laughed out of the room”, Cruz said.
If a Republican president had nominated someone to HHS like Xavier Becerra with zero health care experience, zero medical experience, zero pharmaceutical experience in the midst of a global pandemic, they would have been laughed out of the room. pic.twitter.com/TgspiJS73d— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 18, 2021
In Becerra's defense, Democrats contended that in the past 25 years, only one doctor had led the department.
Becerra, who was asked during the hearing if he supports a single tax-payer system, said that he hopes to help Biden build on the Affordable Care Act.
“That will be my mission, to achieve the goals that President Biden put forward to build on the Affordable Care Act”, he said.
Becerra’s confirmation makes him the first Hispanic person to lead the department.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.