GOP Groups Pressure Democrat Senators Over Xavier Becerra as Confirmation Faces Hurdles

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Posted: Mar 03, 2021 12:00 PM
GOP Groups Pressure Democrat Senators Over Xavier Becerra as Confirmation Faces Hurdles

Source: Greg Nash/Pool via AP

As his confirmation process is underway, Conservative groups continue to target President Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Xavier Becerra. In a last-minute push to derail his confirmation before the full Senate, Heritage Action hit the airwaves targeting Democratic “swing vote” Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ).

The $500,000 ad campaign urges the Democrat lawmakers to break with the party and vote no on Biden’s “radical pick” who holds “zero medical experience.”


The ad targeting Arizona points to Becerra's "zero medical experience," with the exception of "suing Catholic nuns trying to force them to pay for abortions," citing his lawsuit in defense of the contraceptive mandate. The group's ad in West Virginia paints this vote as a "big test" for Manchin, framing Becerra as "a radical partisan, an activist, not a doctor."

Becerra’s confirmation is facing hurdles, as Republicans warn against his radical views. While before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, Becerra failed to receive a majority of the committee’s support. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will now have to break the tie vote to put Becerra before the full chamber for a vote.

Senate Republicans are overwhelmingly united against Becerra's confirmation. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) deemed Biden's pick a "puzzling selection" to lead HHS. GOP Senators who have voted for other Biden nominees, including Ben Sasse (R-NE), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) are also opposed to Becerra's confirmation. 

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