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Sylvia Mathews Burwell Confirmed HHS Secretary

OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, nominated in April by President Obama to succeed the exiting and oft-assailed Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) was confirmed overwhelmingly by the U.S. .Senate in a bipartisan vote on June 5.

The 78 votes in favor of Burwell’s nomination included Republican elder statesman Senator John McCain (AZ), who described her as an “excellent choice” taking on a “thankless job,” the New York Times reported. “Like being the captain of the Titanic after it hit an iceberg,” McCain said, the Times reported, in a reference to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka “Obamacare,” of which he and the majority of his fellow Republicans have been vocal critics for years.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), also an outspoken critic of Obamacare, distinguished between the law and the person, the Times reported. Coburn praised Burwell for remaining open minded on issues even to the very end, always open to additional information that might help her to draw an even wiser conclusion.

The Roll Call, confirming Burwell, included 78 YEAs, 17 NAYs, and 5 non-votes.

YEAs —78
Alexander (R-TN)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Crapo (R-ID)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
McCain (R-AZ)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Toomey (R-PA)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Walsh (D-MT)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs —17
Ayotte (R-NH)
Blunt (R-MO)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cruz (R-TX)
Heller (R-NV)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Kirk (R-IL)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Not Voting – 5
Boozman (R-AR)
Cochran (R-MS)
Lee (R-UT)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Scott (R-SC)

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