03.03.21

Lankford Opposes President Biden’s Pick to Lead HHS In Committee Vote

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today during a vote in the Senate Finance Committee Business Meeting opposed the nomination of Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Lankford questioned Becerra during a hearing last week noting his hostility toward conscience protections and his lack of experience to lead such a critical agency during a global health pandemic. 

“During a pandemic we need a health care professional leading the Department of Health and Human Services,” said Lankford. “Someone who has made a career of forcing faith-based organizations to promote abortion and suing groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor is not suited to lead the top health agency for the nation. 

“As Secretary of HHS, Becerra would be responsible for the enforcement of federal laws to ensure protections for health care workers freedom of conscience that he fought against as Attorney General for California. He is not the right person for the task. Someone who is such an outspoken advocate for the taking of human life through abortion is not the right choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Last week, Lankford joined several of his colleagues in a letter to President Biden to withdraw Becerra’s nomination. Most notably, Lankford pressed Becerra on how he plans to protect the conscience rights of Americans and ensure faith-based entities receive fair treatment from the federal government. Lankford openly questioned Becerra’s nomination on the Senate floor in January during a speech to commemorate the annual March for Life.   

Last week, ahead of the hearing, Lankford introduced the Conscience Protection Act to protect health care workers from discrimination.  

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