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Nomination of Xavier Becerra

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 23, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. President, today, the HELP Committee considered the nomination of Xavier Becerra, our former House colleague, to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and tomorrow the Finance Committee will take their turn at examining his record.

It is hard to think of a nominee more notorious for actively seeking out ways to undermine religious freedom and our religious liberty. His contempt for those whose beliefs differ from his own is well documented, and, in many cases, his positions on those issues are far more radical than those held by the majority in his own party.

He supports abortion up to the moment of birth, and, in 2003, actively opposed the partial-birth abortion ban. He cosponsored legislation that would have forced religious employers to provide insurance that covers the morning-after pill, in spite of their mainstream and sincerely held religious beliefs. Bear in mind I said the legislation would have forced--not an option--forced religious employers to provide insurance that covered the morning-after pill.

In fact, Mr. Becerra has been so antagonistic toward fundamental constitutional principles that you could almost forget he doesn't have the public health experience most Americans would expect the Secretary of Health and Human Services to possess. In fact, he has no meaningful experience in healthcare at all--zero, none, not in public health or large-scale logistical operations or in any other area that might be helpful as we navigate our way out of a global pandemic. That is right. He has no healthcare experience.

This lack of experience, combined with his desire to destroy those who disagree with him, places him among the most unqualified and dangerous nominees ever to come before the Senate for consideration, and I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing his confirmation.

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