Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Burwell to Seek Confirmation this Week

Drew Thies

The confirmation of Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the Obama Administration’s pick to replace Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services, is expected to be voted on by the full Senate this week.

Burwell was announced as Sebelius’s replacement the same day the Secretary announced her resignation in early April. Though Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) faced much scrutiny from Members of Congress, primarily surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Burwell’s confirmation is expected to be bipartisan.

Burwell, the former head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has already testified at hearings in front of the Senate Finance and Help, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committees, the two Senate groups with authority over healthcare matters.

Last year’s Senate rule change that eliminated the ability for the minority to filibuster Presidential nominations to the cabinet and circuit courts almost guarantees Burwell’s confirmation.

Burwell’s new assignment started a cabinet shuffle which brought Burwell into HHS, former head of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Secretary Shaun Donovan, to take Burwell’s old position at the helm of OMB, and former Mayor of San Antonio Juli├ín Castro to the position of Secretary of HUD.

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