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  • Washington Highlights

    Senate Moves Forward with Cabinet Nominees

    Jason Kleinman, Senior Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations

    The Senate continued its work to confirm President Trump’s cabinet nominees.

    Department of Health and Human Services

    The Senate Feb. 10 voted 52-47 along party lines to confirm Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to serve as the Health and Human Services Secretary. The vote occurred in the early morning hours after Senate Democrats delayed the final vote by holding the floor for the full 30 hours permitted to them under Senate rules. Dr. Price faced a contentious Jan. 24 confirmation hearing, after which the Senate Finance Committee advanced his nomination under suspension of the rules [see Washington Highlights, Jan. 27].

    Department of Education

    The Senate Feb. 7 confirmed Betsy DeVos as the Education Secretary by a vote of 51-50 with Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding vote. The vote nearly fell along party lines, with the only exceptions being Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who both voted against Mrs. DeVos.

    Department of Veterans Affairs

    The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Feb. 7 unanimously voted to advance the nomination of David Shulkin, MD, as VA Secretary. The full Senate is expected to vote on the nomination next week.

    Office of Management and Budget

    The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) Committee and the Senate Budget Committee Feb. 2 both voted along party lines to advance Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), nominee for director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to the full Senate for final approval. The full Senate is expected to vote on the nomination next week.