Baucus: Sebelius Could Be Confirmed by Day’s End

Posted April 2, 2009 at 10:59am

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) could be confirmed as secretary of Health and Human Services by end of the day, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said.

“Some way, some how, we’ll get it done today,— Baucus said Thursday.

Baucus made the assertion as Sebelius was sitting before the Finance panel for her second confirmation hearing this week. She testified before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday, and was warmly received by both panels.

Despite revelations this week that she had to pay close to $8,000 in back taxes, the issue did not come up at Thursday’s Finance hearing. Rather, lawmakers urged the Kansas governor to work with Congress on a major health care overhaul this year.

“You’re appointment comes at a transformational time, and your background will make an enormous contribution to this effort,— Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said.

If confirmed, Sebelius will fill the last empty Cabinet post in the Obama administration. She was Obama’s second pick for HHS, after former Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who withdrew his nomination after coming under fire for failing to pay more than $100,000 in taxes on time.