Carper Meets with President-Elect Biden’s Nominee to Lead HHS

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after meeting with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, President-elect Joe Biden’s intended nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a distinguished and dedicated public servant whose decades of experience working to expand access to affordable health care and leading bipartisan efforts to hold special interests accountable in order to safeguard the health of Americans make him an exceptional candidate to lead HHS at such a critical and challenging moment.

“Throughout his career both in Congress and as Attorney General of California, Xavier Becerra has shown an unwavering commitment to protecting and expanding health care for American families and workers, especially those in vulnerable communities who remain underserved.  In Congress, as a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, he helped make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a reality, and as California’s Attorney General, he led the effort to defend the ACA against attacks by the Trump Administration to dismantle the law altogether. In his experience as the head of the largest state Department of Justice in the country, Attorney General Becerra has brought Republicans and Democrats attorney generals together to take on companies responsible for the opioid crisis. He is not afraid to work across the aisle to deliver results and that’s exactly the leader we need at HHS at this moment.

“During our meeting, we discussed HHS’ priorities in the next administration, including the necessity for the agency to work alongside the White House and Congress to address the coronavirus pandemic, which has already claimed the lives of over 300,000 Americans and infected over 16 million. Attorney General Becerra shares my belief that in order to get Americans back to work and our economy back on track, we must first prioritize the health and safety of all American families.

“We specifically discussed how important it will be for to HHS to collaborate with local, state, and federal stakeholders to make sure vaccines and treatments are distributed efficiently and equitably as they are made available. We also talked about creating a consistent and fact-based public health message that will help foster trust and address concerns regarding the safety and efficiency of vaccines, especially in low-income and communities of color.

“Attorney General Becerra has a proven track record and the management experience necessary to take on the massive operation at HHS. He will also make history as the first Latino American to take on this role and at a time when the Latino community been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to prioritize Xavier’s confirmation, so that we can work together to bring an end to this pandemic and execute President-elect Biden’s vision to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, address persistent health disparities, and restore HHS’ mission to protect the health and well-being of all Americans. At a time when a deadly pandemic continues to claim thousands of lives a day, any delays in confirmation will jeopardize the lives, jobs, and health of Americans.”