Senate Confirms Becerra to Lead HHS

The Senate voted 50-49 to confirm Xavier Becerra as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Becerra, the first Latino to lead HHS, is charged with overseeing the country’s pandemic response while executing the Biden administrator’s health agenda. The vote to confirm Becerra was delayed due to concerns with his lack of healthcare experience, past support for Medicare for All, and abortion. Others were concerned that further delay would hinder the country’s pandemic response. Becerra is currently serving as California’s Attorney General, leaving another appointment up to California Gov. Gavin Newsom. In a tweeted statement following his confirmation, Becerra said he is “honored and humbled by the vote” and “ready to get to work.”