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2 Biden Nominees Face Stiff Opposition: Becerra Labeled 'Pro-Abortion Activist', 3 Key Senators Say 'No' to Tanden

02-22-2021
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Left to right, Xavier Becerra, Neera Tanden, and Judge Merrick Garland. (AP Photos)

CBN News Chief Political Analyst David Brody appeared on the Monday edition of CBN News's Faith Nation to talk about Biden's cabinet nominees and their chances of being confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Faith Nation is seen weeknights on the CBN News Channel.  

Two of President Joe Biden's cabinet nominees are facing some stiff opposition in their confirmation battles this week.

CBN News has previously reported that Xavier Becerra is seen as been radically pro-abortion. He's facing hearings starting Tuesday in the U.S. Senate.

The National Pro-life Coalition is calling on senators to reject Becerra as the HHS Secretary. A coalition of more than 60 national and state pro-life leaders sent a letter Monday to the ranking members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee urging them to reject the former California Attorney General.

 'An Enemy of the Health of Women and the Unborn'

The letter reads in part: "Mr. Becerra is an enemy to every pro-life policy and law and has demonstrated complete disregard for the religious and moral convictions of those opposed to the brutal act of abortion. His radical record in public office as California's Attorney General and member of Congress leads our organizations to ask you to reject Mr. Becerra's nomination," the coalition wrote. 

"Mr. Becerra's confirmation would be divisive and a step in the wrong direction. We understand that the president needs to assemble a cabinet; however, Mr. Becerra has proven himself to be an enemy of the health of women and the unborn. He cannot be entrusted with our national health programs and policies and is not qualified to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services," the letter continues. 

"Xavier Becerra has been portrayed as moderate, but he is infamous among pro-lifers for his decades-long record as a vocal pro-abortion advocate. In Congress and as attorney general of California, Becerra not only joined pro-abortion efforts – he led them," SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. "President Biden could not have picked a more eager pro-abortion activist to head HHS and we urge senators to reject his nomination."

Becerra's qualifications are also in question with critics saying the 62-year-old is not a medical professional and has no public health experience. 

Biden disagrees, highlighting Becerra's effort on health care and fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act. 

During a speech on the Senate floor in late January, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) summed up Becerra's health policy experience. 

"His recent experience in health policy seems largely limited to promoting abortion-on-demand and suing groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor who dare to live out their religious convictions," McConnell said.

1 Democrat, 2 Republicans Say They Won't Confirm Tanden

Meanwhile, Neera Tanden, Biden's nominee to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget is also facing stiff opposition from senators on both sides of the aisle who serve on the Senate Budget Committee. 

Tanden, 50, is a former adviser to Hillary Clinton and served as president of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress. During her confirmation hearings before the committee earlier this month, Tanden apologized for her prolific attacks against top Republicans on social media. 

Republican senators have griped about Tanden's "harsh criticism" and "personal attacks" in her tweets, such as calling Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas "a fraud" and saying "vampires have more heart" than Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

On Friday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) became the first Democratic lawmaker to oppose the confirmation of Tanden.

Manchin said bipartisanship is "more important than ever" as the nation faces many crises and suggested Tanden was overtly partisan.

"I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget," Manchin said in a statement.

With the Senate evenly divided between 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, and with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tie-breaking vote, losing Manchin means Tanden would need support from at least one Republican to win confirmation. Tanden really can't afford to lose another Democratic vote.

On Monday, moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah said they would also vote against confirming her.

Collins said Monday that Tanden has "neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency" which heads efforts to ensure an administration's priorities are reflected in legislation and regulations. Collins blamed Tanden's past actions and said they "demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend."

Romney will also oppose Tanden, a spokesperson confirmed, because of her rhetoric on social media.

The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to vote on Tanden's nomination this week.

Merrick Garland Faces Less Opposition for Attorney General

A third Biden cabinet nominee may not have such a hard time as Becerra and Tanden in his confirmation hearing. Judge Merrick Garland, Biden's nominee for attorney general, appeared in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.  

In a statement released by the Justice Department over the weekend, he pledged "to serve the Rule of Law and to ensure equal justice under the law."

Garland is currently chief judge of the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

As the new attorney general, Garland would confront immediate challenges on the job, including an ongoing criminal tax investigation into Joe Biden's son Hunter. A special counsel investigation into the dubious origins of the anti-Trump Russia probe also remains open, forcing a new attorney general to decide how to handle it and what to make public.

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Have you have had an abortion, are contemplating ending your pregnancy, or would like pregnancy-related resources, please click here.

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