On June 5, in a bipartisan 78 to 17 vote, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Sylvia Burwell, Obama’s appointee for secretary of Health and Human Services. Despite a fast-tracked confirmation process with bipartisan support, all the likely GOP contenders for president voted “no” on her confirmation.
With Senate approval, Burwell is now set to take the place of the retiring Kathleen Sebelius as head of HHS. Her most difficult responsibility will be to push regulations for President Obama’s unpopular Obamacare law.
Burwell’s confirmation was swift and devoid of any protracted debate over her suitability, but there were a number of no votes nonetheless. While all the no votes were cast by Republicans, each of the three senators thought to be vying for the GOP nomination for president in 2016 were included.
Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) all voted thumbs down on Burwell’s nomination.
Meanwhile, Republican Senators John McCain (AZ), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Susan Collins (ME) voted to confirm.