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Senate Approves Sebelius for HHS Post

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Senate yesterday confirmed Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by a vote of 65 to 31 with three abstentions.

Her appointment had been slowed by concern among some Republican senators primarily about differences with her positions on abortion.

Before serving as governor of Kansas, Sebelius between 1995 and 2003 was the state's insurance commissioner.

In a debate on the senate floor yesterday, Senator Tom Coburn (R – Okla.) said that the abortion concern was the only reason he would not support her nomination for the position.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R – Utah) yesterday added to that his qualms with the nominee, saying that he would vote against Sebelius because he believed she had been "less than forthcoming with her list of political donors," and because she "backs a government-run healthcare system."

In the vote, Sebelius won over nine Republican Senators, including the two from her state, and she received full support from the Democrats who voted.

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