Finance Panel to Vote on Sebelius Next Week

Posted April 17, 2009 at 12:15pm

The Senate Finance Committee will vote Tuesday on the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius to be Health and Human Services secretary.

Sebelius, who is the only outstanding Obama administration Cabinet nominee, went before the Finance panel on April 2, enjoying a warm reception from Democrats and Republicans. Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) had hoped to vote on the nomination before Congress adjourned for the two-week Easter recess, but he postponed action to give GOP members more time.

Tuesday’s vote will run parallel to the committee’s previously scheduled roundtable discussion on health care, one of the Democrats’ top priorities. Baucus wants the Finance panel consider a comprehensive health care reform package by June and directed several questions on the subject to Sebelius during her confirmation hearing earlier in the month.

Sebelius’ nomination has not been in doubt, although brief hiccups over $8,000 in misfiled taxes and campaign donations from a late-term abortion doctor interrupted some of her bipartisan support.

The Kansas governor, who has the support of home-state GOP Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, is expected to pass easily through the Finance Committee.