Senate Minority Leader McConnell to oppose Burwell HHS confirmation

McClatchy Washington BureauJune 5, 2014 

Health Nominee

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Barack Obama’s nominee to become secretary of Health and Human Services, appears for her confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 8, 2014.

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE — AP

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he’s voting no Thursday on the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to head the Department of Health and Human Services. While crediting Burwell with being a ‘smart and skilled public servant,’ McConnell feels she doesnt have the skill set to address the main problem facing former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ replacement: operating the Affordable Care Act.

McConnell, a staunch opponent of the health care law, feels no one has the skill set to run it.

‘So, in my view, the Senate shouldn’t be focusing on a new captain for the Titanic,’ he said on the Senate floor. ‘It should focusing on steering away from the iceberg.’

McConnell added: ‘I’ll be voting against this nominee, because I think we need to focus on repealing and replacing this law, not trying to do the impossible by pretending we can make it work.’

The office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pounced on McConnell’s floor speech, calling it another example of the Kentucky Republican living up to his self-proclaimed monicker of ‘proud guardian of gridlock’ and noting that the Senate previously confirmed Burwell to director of the Office of Management and Budget on a 96-0 vote.

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