Amid GOP opposition, Becerra faces first of two hearings this week over HHS nomination

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

Among the many points that can take center stage are his help for providing insurance to people right here illegally, in addition to his help whereas in Congress for abortion rights and Medicare for All.

Republicans are additionally expected to make him defend the more than 100 lawsuits California filed difficult Trump administration policies because the state’s attorney general. He seems earlier than the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday.

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

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

However the National Review reported Monday that average Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is undecided on whether or not to help Becerra, placing his nomination in question.

Conservative teams see Becerra as one in every of Biden’s most weak nominees and have already lined up in opposition, calling his policy positions radical and saying throughout the pandemic Biden ought to have picked a physician to steer the agency.

Becerra was among the many small group of lawmakers who helped write the Inexpensive Care Act, also called Obamacare, and entry to healthcare was a signature challenge throughout his two dozen years within the House. Abortion rights and child advocacy teams have lined up in help of Becerra.

When he grew to become California attorney general in 2017, Becerra led the state’s efforts to block 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 law requiring employer-sponsored health plans to cowl the cost of contraceptives.

Only three of the 12 earlier secretaries of the department have had medical degrees. Becerra can be the primary Latino secretary of Health and Human Services.

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