Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., urge his Senate colleagues to reject President Joe Biden’s selection of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be the next Health and Human Services secretary.
Becerra’s most obvious flaw is that he’s not qualified for the job, Cotton argued in an op-ed for Fox News.
The Department of Health and Human Services should be led by someone familiar with the medical and healthcare world, especially since its primary objective in the first year of Biden’s presidency will be overseeing the federal government’s coronavirus pandemic response and vaccine distribution process.
“But Becerra is a lawyer and career politician,” the op-ed noted.
“He served 12 terms in the House of Representatives before becoming California’s attorney general in 2017,” Cotton continued. “He has no experience in public health, large-scale logistics or other challenges of the pandemic.”
Furthermore, Becerra is a radical leftist who has a history of punishing those who disagree with him, Cotton said.
He supports “Medicare-for-All” and wants to decriminalize illegal immigration, and he has pushed an extreme abortion platform that forced religious employers to cover contraception even if doing so violates their religious convictions.
“Becerra has targeted social conservatives, religious groups and others who deny the Democratic Party’s dogmas about life, marriage and the family,” Cotton wrote.
He cited Becerra’s favorable treatment of Democratic officials who violated California’s coronavirus restrictions—including Gov. Gavin Newsom—versus the hypocritical way he treated churches.
If Becerra were confirmed as HHS secretary, he would have the full force of the federal government to keep waging his culture war against conservatives, Cotton said.
“HHS has the largest budget in the federal government—even bigger than the Pentagon’s—and one of the most powerful bureaucracies,” Cotten said.
He said Becerra’s track record left little doubt as to how he would use the “vast resources and power” that the position entailed.
“As we fight to defeat the coronavirus, America deserves a professional at HHS—not a partisan culture warrior,” Cotton said.
“Becerra’s zeal for lockdowns, radical politics and abuse of power won’t distribute a single vaccine or improve health care for a single citizen,” he continued. “But he will threaten on-the-job health insurance and persecute disfavored political opponents.”
Several other Republican senators have voiced similar concerns about Becerra’s appointment, warning Biden that his confirmation will be an uphill battle.
Sens. Mike Braun, R-Ind., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, have all questioned Becerra’s nomination, calling him a “controversial” and “inexperienced” pick.
“I will meet with Xavier Becerra to ask how his political donations from insurance companies and his support for abortions and Medicare-for-All makes him qualified to serve,” Braun said, adding that he had “serious concerns” about Becerra’s ability to lead the agency.
Collins, a crucial swing vote, said: “I was surprised that it wasn’t an individual who had a health care background, but I truly don’t know him.”
Cornyn lamented Becerra’s appointment as a “radical” one and predicted his confirmation process will be heated. But to block Becerra, Republicans would have to convince at least two or three Democrats to vote against him as well.