The vote was 50 to 49. Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins joined Senate Democrats in favor of the nomination. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono didn’t vote.

During the affirmation course of, Becerra pressured his upbringing, his father’s latest passing and his efforts for increasing well being care entry as California’s lawyer common and a 24-year Congressman representing a Los Angeles-based district

The overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans opposed Becerra’s nomination over his assist for abortion rights and his lack of a background as a well being care skilled.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised Becerra’s expertise and blasted Republicans’ arguments towards him, saying they “almost verge on the ridiculous.”

“They complain loudly that he has no direct experience as a medical professional,” he mentioned. “Even though Republicans voted in lockstep to install Alex Azar, a pharmaceutical executive who raised drug prices and tried to undermine our nation’s health law as the previous HHS Secretary.”

Becerra’s main job shall be combating the unfold of Covid, which has contaminated over 29.6 million people and killed over 538,000 people within the United States.

“I understand the enormous challenges before us and our solemn responsibility to be faithful stewards of an agency that touches almost every aspect of our lives,” mentioned Becerra at a nomination listening to in February.

The former California Attorney General has been a chief defender of the Affordable Care Act in court docket. While the Trump administration joined a coalition of Republican state attorneys common to invalidate the landmark well being reform regulation, Becerra led a gaggle of Democratic attorneys common arguing why the regulation stays legitimate. At situation was whether or not Congress’ discount of the penalty for not having medical health insurance to zero rendered the person mandate unconstitutional and brought about your complete regulation to fall.

Becerra has additionally been outspoken advocate for girls’s well being, the rights of undocumented immigrants and for Medicare for All.

Of the 23 Cabinet-level positions requiring Senate consideration, 20 have now been confirmed.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Small Business Administrator Isabel Guzman and US commerce consultant Katherine Tai have been confirmed earlier this week. Labor Secretary nominee Marty Walsh, the mayor of Boston, is anticipated to be subsequent.

NCS’s Jasmine Wright and Tami Luhby contributed to this report.


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