Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) submitted the following remarks to the Congressional Record on Xavier Becerra’s nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services:
“Madam President, I rise today in support of Xavier Becerra’s nomination to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
I’m proud to have known Xavier Becerra for many years as both a friend and colleague. He’s spent decades serving California, including as the state’s attorney general and as a 12-term congressman from Los Angeles.
Mr. Becerra was the first in his family to receive a four-year college degree, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University and later his Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School.
As a member of the House of Representatives, he was a strong advocate for the health care of his constituents and fought to make the Affordable Care Act law.
And as California Attorney General, he’s been a staunch defender of the Affordable Care Act, leading 20 states and the District of Columbia in defense of the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court.
As part of his focus on protecting the health of Americans, Mr. Becerra has worked on a bipartisan basis with multistate coalitions of attorneys general on issues still affecting our country today. These include the need to reduce youth exposure to tobacco products like e-cigarettes, increasing access to COVID-19 treatments, as well as addressing the opioid epidemic and the considerable harm it has caused families.
As our state’s attorney general, Mr. Becerra has led the nation’s second largest department of justice behind only the U.S. Department of Justice. His experience leading large and diverse organizations will position him to successfully lead the Department of Health and Human Services, which is the nation’s largest federal agency by budget.
As secretary, he will lead the nation’s top health agency charged with enhancing the health and well-being of all Americans. In this global pandemic, he will play a lead role in overseeing the implementation of President Biden’s national strategy for COVID-19 response, which is vital to defeating the virus that has plagued our country for far too long.
His history-making nomination as the first Latino to manage this Department comes at a time when this pandemic is affecting communities of color at much higher rates than white Americans.
And those of us who know him personally know the level of his concern and the strength of his dedication to protect the health and safety of all hardworking Americans and their families.
In short, Xavier Becerra is the right candidate to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this time, and I strongly urge the Senate to confirm his nomination.”