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HHS Nominee Burwell Aces Senate Finance Hearing

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 15, 2014

Instead of grilling Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who is expected to be confirmed as the next head of the Department of Health and Human Services, many Republican senators on the committee used their allotted time to rail against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


sebelius

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Director, OMB

Photo: Varnent

For the second time in a week, President Obama's nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services emerged unscathed from a Senate confirmation hearing.

For the most part, Sylvia Mathews Burwell was subjected to high praise from Senate Finance Committee members from both parties during the two-and-a-half-hour hearing on Wednesday afternoon.

A date for the committee vote has not been scheduled, but Burwell is expected to sail through the nomination process. Last year the Senate approved her nomination as director of the Office of Management and Budget on a 96-0 vote.

Instead of grilling Burwell, many Republican senators on the committee used their allotted time to rail against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will be a critical issue in the upcoming midterm elections. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), told Burwell that he was frustrated with what he said was the Obama administration's longstanding lack of accountability with Congress.

"As I said on the day you were nominated, you have a fresh start with the Congress and the public," Grassley told Burwell. "But if you are going to make the most of that opportunity you are going to have to do things differently than they have been done."

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