WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today voted against the confirmation of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“We would expect someone who’s the U.S. Attorney General to have a legal background pertinent to being Attorney General. Similarly, we should expect a health care background for HHS secretary. Becerra’s qualification to be HHS Secretary seem to be minimal beyond suing the department he wants to lead,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Being HHS Secretary should not be a learn on the job position. This will not serve our country well.”
Cassidy voted against advancing Becerra’s nomination in the Senate Finance Committee on March 3, 2021. During the Executive Session, Cassidy delivered remarks outlining his concerns with Becerra’s qualifications to be HHS Secretary.
Cassidy questioned Attorney General Becerra in both the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and Finance Committees in late February. He asked Becerra about three major issues HHS is responsible for, pharmaceutical costs in the Medicare Part D program, Temporary Aid for Needy Families, and the 340B Drug Pricing program, which allows qualifying providers to purchase discounted drugs; his answers did not display any knowledge.