Xavier Becerra to be HHS Secretary
By Dave Andrusko
The rubber is about to hit the road in the Biden/Harris nomination of Xavier Becerra to be the new Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a vote on Wednesday on a man who had a perfect pro-abortion record while a congressman and couldn’t harass pregnancy help centers enough while California’s attorney general.
Talk about perfect symmetry. Who did he succeed as attorney general? Kamala Harris. One abortion absolutist handing off the baton to another. Now they want to join forces in their assault on the unborn while making life miserable for the children’s defenders in all fifty states.
Under questioning, Becerra didn’t repudiate his support as a Member of the House of Representatives for the hideous partial-birth abortion technique. Instead Becerra tap-danced around an inquiry from Sen. Mitt Romney, lapsing into the ultimate evasion: “When I come to these issues, I understand that we may not always agree on where to go, but I think we can find some common ground on these issues.”
He is, in a word, a perfect choice for an administration that promises to elevate attacks on unborn babies and their champions into an art form.
And if you are hoping militants such as Becerra and Harris, in particular, will etch out some tiny space for freedom of conscience, you’re out of luck. As California attorney general, he “fought nuns in court,” as senators John Thune and Tom Cotton wrote today at National Review Online. The nuns in question of course, are the Little Sisters of the Poor “who spend their lives caring for the elderly poor.”
No matter, to a zealot like Becerra. As the senators said of his crusade, “Becerra took legal action for years intended to strong-arm Catholic nuns and others” into complying with a federal policy that violates their religious beliefs. “It’s a matter of public record that cannot be erased, and it’s just one example of Becerra taking religious liberty and freedom of conscience to court,” Sens. Thune and Cotton wrote.
In sending a letter of opposition, National Right to Life astutely observed that Becerra lacks the qualifications necessary to head HHS, described by the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues as “an expansive department of the U.S. government with sweeping oversight on policies related to health in the U.S. and diplomatically, including abortion. The many and varied agencies that the Secretary and Assistant Secretary oversee include Administration for Children & Families, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health, Office for Civil Rights, the Office of Global Affairs, and the Office of Population Affairs.”
“While Mr. Becerra lacks public-health experience,” NRLC wrote, “he does have a proven track record of being hostile on pro-life issues. As California’s attorney general, Mr. Becerra repeatedly and aggressively attacked protective pro-life laws and organizations with rancor. While a congressman, he had a 100% pro-abortion voting record. Mr. Becerra’s support of abortion on demand for any reason and at any time, and his campaign against pregnancy help centers, is extensive and well documented.” Becerra’s actions on behalf of a multi-million-dollar industry were very extensive and NRLC elaborated on them at length.
“As we face this unprecedented global pandemic, voting to confirm an HHS Secretary with absolutely no medical or scientific experience is simply irresponsible,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wrote. “Science matters. As best I can tell, Mr. Becerra’s only healthcare experience is suing the Little Sisters of the Poor.”