Xavier Becerra wins cloture vote; final vote on his confirmation as HHS Secretary likely Thursday

By Dave Andrusko

Earlier this afternoon, the Senate voted 50-49 to “invoke cloture” (cut off debate) on the nomination of Xavier Becerra to become the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

National Right to Life has explained in multiple posts and press releases why we believe Xavier Becerra will be a disastrous HHS Secretary. (See, for example, here; here; and here.)

Undeterred, the Biden-Harris administration vigorously promoted his candidacy. Today all 49 Senate Democrats present and one Republican senator voted to advance his candidacy to a final vote, likely on Thursday. 

Should, as this cloture vote suggests, the former long-time congressman and, most recently, the Attorney General of the state of California be confirmed as HHS Secretary, it will remind us (1) that Democrats in Congress and in the Biden-Harris administration are gung ho to use this key position to advance their pro-abortion, conscience-denying agenda; and (2) that the gibberish about “unifying the country” was all for show. Militant pro-abortion ideologues such as Becerra will work closely with Vice President Kamala Harris to make life as miserable for unborn babies and their defenders as humanly possible.

As NRLC has explained, Becerra poses a triple threat—to unborn babies, their public policy defenders, such as National Right to Life, and the Pregnancy Help Movement.  That in a nutshell is his resume.

Readers of National Right to Life News are likely most familiar with his anti-life tag-team efforts with then-Sen. Harris, who was Becerra’s predecessor as Attorney General. We wrote about their crusade against Pregnancy Help Centers in California at least a dozen times.

“In 2018, Becerra represented both the pro-abortion and anti-free speech side of the Supreme Court case, NIFLA v. Becerra, in which justices ruled in a 5-4 decision that California can’t force crisis-pregnancy centers to post signs about state-sponsored abortion services,” writes Madeline Osburn. 

This is in reference to California’s “Reproductive FACT Act” which the Supreme Court voted to strike down in June 2018. That should have been a layup—the law was blatantly unconstitutional—but for four members of the High Court, it wasn’t.

Referring to that Supreme Court case, the Wall Street Journal wrote in an editorial, “Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion saying that what Mr. Becerra was defending required understanding how ‘relentless authoritarian regimes are in their attempts to stifle free speech.’”

NRLC’s response to Senate confirmation of Mr. Becerra highlighted how he is heavy on politics and light on relevant health care experience. He is a genuine novice in all the most important areas.

That same Wall Street Journal editorial rightly observed

If Mr. Becerra had some significant experience in health care, there might be a case for confirming him in a pandemic. But he’s a lawyer with essentially no such experience. He is a politician who behaves as if his main mission is imposing today’s progressive mores on reluctant citizens. This has nothing to do with improving health care.

“Nothing to do with improving health care.” Truer words were never spoken.