Health secretary pick Xavier Becerra braces for contentious Senate hearings

Health secretary pick Xavier Becerra braces for contentious Senate hearings
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the powerful Department of Health and Human Services is preparing for two days of contentious hearings in a divided Senate, with allies fanning out to defend him as Republicans mobilize to tank his nomination.

If he is confirmed, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former member of Congress, will have the daunting task of steering administration policy on the coronavirus pandemic and orchestrating Biden’s goal to get health care to more Americans. He would also be the first Latino HHS secretary.

Becerra will appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, or HELP, Committee on Tuesday morning before he faces the Finance Committee on Wednesday.

Both committees, which have jurisdiction over health care issues,…



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