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Senate panel deadlocks on advancing Biden's pick for health secretary

The Finance Committee’s rating Republican, Mike Crapo of Idaho, vowed Wednesday to work with Becerra on much less contentious points, comparable to telehealth and securing Medicare’s funds, if he is confirmed. However he and different Republicans criticized Becerra’s lack of health coverage experience in arguing he was the improper pick to guide the sprawling federal health division throughout a pandemic.

“Being HHS Secretary shouldn’t be a learn-on-the-job place,” mentioned Sen. Invoice Cassidy (R-La.).

Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) accused the Republicans of “twisting actuality” and warned that additional delays on Becerra’s nomination places the nation’s Covid-19 response in danger.

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“This nation is in the course of a public health nightmare, and the American folks must have a Senate-confirmed chief operating HHS as quickly as attainable,” he mentioned.

Republican lawmakers and conservative outdoors teams proceed to ramp up strain campaigns surrounding the nomination.

The political arm of the Heritage Basis launched a $500,000 advert purchase in West Virginia and Arizona on Wednesday, with spots focusing on Becerra’s file on abortion rights, weapons and immigration. Different anti-Becerra advert campaigns from Sen. Tom Cotton’s PAC and anti-abortion teams Susan B. Anthony Checklist and College students for Life are additionally underway.

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