Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that she will vote to confirm Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services:
“I will support the confirmation of Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
“At his hearing before the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, I questioned Mr. Becerra about the significant harm school closures are having on students and emphasized the urgent need to reopen schools safely and quickly. Since that exchange, our conversations have continued. I look forward to working with Mr. Becerra, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and HHS officials to ensure that existing and emerging science is better reflected as CDC guidance is updated so that children across the nation can resume in-person learning safely.
“During our one-on-one meeting, and in three subsequent conversations, Mr. Becerra and I discussed several shared goals that I hope we can accomplish in the Biden Administration. They include lowering the price of prescription drugs for patients and reducing our dependence on foreign countries for drug manufacturing. I also urged Mr. Becerra to support additional funding for health care providers during the pandemic, particularly in rural areas. While Mr. Becerra is from an urban area, he acknowledged the unique health challenges facing rural America. He committed to making outstanding provider relief payments expeditiously and improving access to care in rural areas, which are major priorities of mine.
“Although there are issues where I strongly disagree with Mr. Becerra, I believe he merits confirmation as HHS Secretary. I look forward to working with the Department to achieve bipartisan results on behalf of the American people.”