The Senate was expected to confirm President Obama’s choice for Health and Human Services Secretary today, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D), but Senate Republicans refused to allow the vote, calling her a “fairly contentious” candidate:
At the start of the session today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) proposed taking a vote after five hours of debate. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected, arguing that lawmakers needed more time to consider her “fairly contentious” selection.
A handful of Republicans have complained about Sebelius’ support for abortion rights and her failure to report the full extent of campaign contributions she received from a physician who performs abortions.
The Wichita Eagle editorial department blog writes of the GOP obstruction: “Many of the Kansans of both parties who elected Sebelius to statewide office four times may have trouble recognizing thier cautious, middle-of-the-road governor in the portrait painted nationally of an abortion- and socialism-loving tax cheat.”
Other key Obama nominees the GOP are currently blocking from assuming their positions include Ashton Carter, nominated for Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel; and Harold Koh as the State Department’s top legal adviser.