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What to know about Biden HHS pick Xavier Becerra


The president-elect’s choice has already drawn pushback due to his defense of the ACA and abortion.

President-elect Joe R. Biden has chosen California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The 62-year-old former congressman who was tapped to fill Kamala Harris’ role as top cop of the golden state in 2017 where he has battled the Trump administration in court on multiple occasions. Biden’s official announcement on Dec. 7 has already drawn criticism from Republican lawmakers.

Here’s what the media is saying about him:

  • Becerra spent almost 25 years in the House of Representatives where served as chair of the Democratic caucus and sat on the House Ways and Means subcommittee on health issues, Politico reports.
  • Becerra, who was considered for attorney general, has been on the ramparts of the battle to save the ACA in the courts, leading 20 states and Washington D.C. in the litigation currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the New York Times.
  • If the Senate confirms him, Becerra will be tasked with leading the $1 trillion-plus budget agency and 80,000 employees in trying to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Associated Press reports.
  • Biden announced Becerra’s nomination along with the rest of a medical team tasked with tackling the pandemic including Anthony Fauci, MD, and Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD
  • Republicans Senator Tom Cotton has already voiced his opposition to Becerra’s nomination, as has anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, according to Fox News.
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Jennifer N. Lee, MD, FAAFP
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health