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Sebelius Confirmation Rounds Out Cabinet

April 29, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

Despite a few setbacks, President Barack Obama was able to fill out his Cabinet one day shy of his 100th day in office, with the Senate’s confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sebelius was the target of some opposition from Republicans due to her record of support for abortion rights. Known for her ability to reach consensus as a two-term governor in red-state Kansas, Sebelius mustered support from her home-state senators, Sam Brownback® and Pat Roberts®, on her confirmation. Seven other Republicans (including then-Republican Arlen Specter) joined their Kansas colleagues in confirming Sebelius, with many citing the swine flu outbreak as a reason.

Sebelius was nominated after former Sen. Tom Daschle withdrew his name from consideration. Daschle’s confirmation was derailed following revelations over back taxes he was forced to pay earlier this year. Sebelius had been considered a front-runner for a Senate bid in Kansas before Obama named her to head HHS.

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