President Joe Biden’s candidate for head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, told the Senate Finance Committee during some of the most tense exchanges in two days of confirmation hearings that he would follow the abortion law.
Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Did not specify when the committee, the only panel that will vote on the nomination, would do so.
Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., Who is unsure how he will vote, has said he expects Becerra will be confirmed.
Disagreements over abortion restrictions and exemptions for health care providers with moral objections to abortion were among the most stark political differences exposed during this week’s hearings at Finance and the Senate Committee on Justice. health, education, work and pensions the day before. Lawmakers and conservative groups said Becerra was unfit to lead the HHS in part because of his previous votes as a member of the House and the lawsuits he brought as California attorney general against the administration Trump on reproductive health policies.
“I’ve tried to make sure on this important issue for so many people – where often, again, we have different points of view but deeply held points of view – that I have tried to make sure that I obeyed the law, ”Becerra told the senator. Steve Daines, R-Mont. “Whether it’s a particular restriction or the whole idea of abortion, whether we agree or not, we have to come to a conclusion, and that’s where the law gives us a place to go. “