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Xavier Becerra Confirmed as HHS Secretary in 50-49 Vote

Greg Nash/Pool via AP

On Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Senate confirmed Xavier Becerra as the Health & Human Services Secretary in a 50-49 vote. Becerra was among the last of President Joe Biden's cabinet nominees to confirm.

Becerra was considered a particularly controversial nominee from the start, based on his partisanship and lack of experience. Leading up to his confirmation, Becerra was the Attorney General of California. 

The vote to confirm Becerra, at every stage, was also razor-thin. He was discharged out of committee on a 14-14 vote, with no Republican voting in favor. The motion to invoke cloture and send his nomination to the U.S. Senate floor was on a 50-49 line vote. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican to vote in his favor.

Becerra's nomination became more certain last week with Collins voicing her support, as did Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is considered a conservative Democrat, particularly on the abortion issue. Manchin himself acknowledged that "Attorney General Xavier Becerra and I have very different records on issues like abortion and the Second Amendment" in a statement last week.

Not only do the pro-life Democrat and Becerra have "very different records," but Becerra has been particularly criticized for his targeting of pro-lifers. As Attorney General of California, he took pro-life pregnancy centers to the U.S. Supreme to force them to advertise state-funded abortions, as well as the Trump administration for protecting the Little Sisters of the Poor from having to provide or refer for birth control, and over regulations on chemical abortions. The Court ruled against Becerra in all three cases.

Becerra's office also charged pro-life investigative journalist David Daleiden with 15 felony counts for his undercover projects exposing Planned Parenthood's fetal organ harvesting. 

Jordan Tygh, the former regional field director for the CAGOP, who gained attention for being the target of Attorney General Becerra and Secretary of State Alex Padilla told Townhall that "Xavier Becerra's confirmation shows us that if you're dishonest, ruthless, and corrupt, you will get ahead. It's a sad day for American's who want national unity and an ethical government."

The U.S. Senate will also vote today on whether to confirm Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as the Labor Secretary. 

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