Xavier Becerra, nominated to guide the Department of Health and Human Services, will testify Tuesday morning on the first of two Senate affirmation hearings, telling a committee he’s aligned with Biden’s central priorities — defeating the coronavirus pandemic and making certain Americans entry to inexpensive well being care — although some Republicans argue he’s unqualified for the job.In ready remarks for his testimony earlier than the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Becerra says, “The mission of HHS — to reinforce the well being and effectively being of all Americans — is core to who I’m.”Fourteen conservative Senate Republicans despatched a letter Monday to Biden expressing “our grave considerations” in regards to the nomination and calling Becerra “unfit for any place of public belief, and particularly for HHS secretary.” GOP senators additionally plan to assail his report of supporting reproductive rights. Several conservative teams are mounting an advert marketing campaign towards his nomination.The well being committee listening to and the second Wednesday, earlier than the Senate Finance Committee, will resolve whether or not Becerra’s nomination will advance to the complete Senate. They are prone to be contentious, however until any Democrats defect — none have indicated to date that they are going to — he could have sufficient assist for affirmation by the Senate, with its razor-slim Democratic majority.Becerra is California’s legal professional common, was a House member for 20 years, and would, if confirmed, be the primary Latino to function HHS secretary.He led a coalition of Democratic attorneys common in preventing towards a lawsuit, now earlier than the Supreme Court, that might invalidate the Affordable Care Act. And he filed greater than 100 lawsuits towards Trump administration insurance policies on well being care, in addition to on immigration and the atmosphere.The well being committee chair, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), plans to focus in pleasant questioning on a Biden theme of basing the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic on scientific proof, not politics; racial and ethnic inequities highlighted by the pandemic and the importance of kid care in enhancing the nation’s broken financial system.A sprawling $1.4 trillion company, HHS is on the coronary heart of a lot of the federal government’s response to the pandemic, containing businesses that embody the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.