May 15, 2014 — Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama's nominee for HHS Secretary, on Wednesday received additional bipartisan support during her most recent Senate confirmation hearing, almost ensuring she will be confirmed by the full Senate, the Los Angeles Times' "Politics Now" reports.
According to "Politics Now," Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced Burwell before the Senate Finance Committee hearing and touted her competence and common sense leadership, saying he would vote for her confirmation on the Senate floor.
During the hearing, Republican members were critical of the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) but also questioned Burwell about proposed changes to the law, displaying a marked difference from their usual push to repeal it.
The Finance Committee must vote on Burwell's confirmation before sending it to the full Senate for a vote (Levey, "Politics Now," Los Angeles Times, 5/14). Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D- Ore.) said he hopes to hold a vote next week (Haberkorn, Politico, 5/15).
Because of changes in the filibuster rules, Democrats will be able to confirm her with a simple majority in the full chamber, eliminating the need for Republican votes (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/9).