HHS Nominee Passes Senate Committee Hearing

Sebelius is expected to be approved by full Senate.

A Senate panel as approve the nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Health and Human Services Secretary. The vote on Tuesday was 15-8 for approval. At question were errors Sebelius made in her tax returns and in a report to the committee on her campaign finances. A Democrat, Sebelius is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate, although the timing of a vote is unclear. Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Reid hopes to hold a confirmation vote on Sebelius as soon as possible.

Republicans could filibuster her nomination over concerns about her record on abortion and her ties to a notorious Kansas abortion provider. In a report to the committee last week, Sebelius initially understated the amount of money that Kansas doctor George Tiller had contributed to her campaigns.

Sebelius is President Obama's second nominee for the HHS job. His first choice, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, withdrew his nomination in early February after it was disclosed that, in January, he had paid $140,000 in back taxes and interest.

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