Eleven Republican senators and 64 Republican House members are urging President Joe Biden to withdraw his nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
"Mr. Becerra’s lack of healthcare experience, enthusiasm for replacing private health insurance with government-run Medicare-for-all, and embrace of radical policies on immigration, abortion, and religious liberty, render him unfit for any position of public trust, and especially for HHS Secretary," the senators wrote.
Becerra needs 51 votes in the Senate to be confirmed.
Becerra’s office did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times' request for comment.
The other senators who co-signed the letter were Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Kennedy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) led the House effort.
The lawmakers argued in their letter that Becerra has "no meaningful experience in healthcare, public health, large-scale logistics, or any other areas critical to meeting our present challenges."
"Mr. Becerra’s lack of qualifications is particularly alarming given the important role the HHS Secretary will play in efforts to develop and distribute vaccines, coordinate research efforts, and draft critical regulations to carry out recovery legislation," they wrote.
The Republicans also took issue with Becerra's support for radical leftist policies that they argue would "inflict great harm on millions of Americans." They told Biden that the appointment would "contradict your calls for unity."
"At a time when Americans can least afford it, Mr. Becerra enthusiastically supports eliminating the private health insurance market for 160 million Americans, only to replace it with a government takeover branded as Medicare-for-all," they wrote. "The resulting reimbursement cuts would devastate rural health care providers working to stay solvent during the pandemic and would be a slap in the face to the doctors, nurses and other health care workers keeping our communities healthy and safe."
A number of religious liberty groups and pro-life advocates have similarly expressed concern over Becerra's nomination, arguing that his record as California attorney general demonstrates his hostility toward pro-life and religious causes.
Becerra also indicated a lack of respect for the freedom of religious institutions in society during his 2017 confirmation hearing in California.
“Not only has Xavier Becerra sued the Little Sisters of the Poor to coerce them to abandon their religious commitments that conflicted with Obama Administration policies concerning contraception and abortion, but he has also been a vocal and supportive ally of Planned Parenthood,” professor Edward A. Morse, who is a member of the board of directors of the Thomas More Society, previously told The Epoch Times.
“He has been instrumental in focusing the state’s prosecutorial powers on members of the pro-life cause, including David Daleiden, who have shined light on the business practices of Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry.”
The White House did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times' request for comment.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that Biden backed Becerra for his "decades of healthcare policy experience."
She pointed in particular to his role in leading the defense of the Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court in November last year.