Vitter opposes Burwell nomination as HHS Secretary

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 19, 2014 

The bipartisan smooth sailing towards the confirmation of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be President Barack Obama’s new Health and Human Services secretary has hit some choppy waters as some Senate Republicans are turning her confirmation into the latest skirmish over the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is the latest to enter the fray. He announced his intention Monday to oppose the choice of Burwell to replace former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebilius and cited the ACA as the reason.

‘What I find most infuriating about Obamacare is that Congress worked behind closed doors to give themselves special treatment to avoid higher costs and lower quality care,’ Vitter wrote in a letter he wrote to Louisiana congressional lawmakers. ‘I’m going to oppose Ms. Burwell’s nomination until the American people get the same relief from Obamacare as the Washington elite and their corporate allies.’

The nomination of Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, appears to have wide bipartisan support, with fiscal hawks like Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., giving her solid reviews.

But Vitter’s opposition comes as two other Republican senators are pressing Burwell for more information on the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment figures. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah sent a letter to Burwell last week demanding that she provide written answers to questions about the ACA’s enrollment, costs, and the employer mandate.

Email: wdouglas@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @williamgdouglas.

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