HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, April 24, 2009

Further Delay/Potential Filibuster on Sebelius Nomination

The Washington Post reports on the continued delay in the Senate on the approval of Governor Sebelius nomination to be the Secretary of HHS.  Ceci Connolly writes,

President Obama will have to wait a bit longer to round out his Cabinet. Senate Republicans refused today to allow a confirmation vote on his health secretary nominee Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.). She is the last Cabinet member awaiting Senate approval.

At the start of the session today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) proposed taking a vote after five hours of debate. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected, arguing that lawmakers needed more time to consider her "fairly contentious" selection. . . .

In the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, eight of 10 GOP members opposed her nomination. Two Republicans, Sens. Pat Roberts of Kansas and Olympia Snowe of Maine, voted to confirm her.  . . .

Reid spokesman Jim Manley said today that, if necessary, the Democratic leader intends to pursue the procedural maneuvers needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. That would likely push a confirmation vote into next week.  "We're confident there will be the 60 votes needed to confirm her," Manley said.

This afternoon, McConnell's office clarified in a statement that the nomination is "not stymied, she's just not getting confirmed today" and said that concerns about a filibuster are premature.

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