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Hatch Votes Against Obama Health Care Pick

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Senator Hatch voted against President Obama's Cabinet nominee for the department of Health and Human Services in a Finance committee vote on Tuesday. Senator Hatch voted against Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius nomination after learning that Sebelius omitted key facts regarding her connection to late-term abortion doctor George Tiller.

The Associated Press reports:

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Monday that Sebelius initially "seemed to be a qualified candidate for the job."

"However, after learning about her inexplicable omission of donations from the late-term abortion doctor George Tiller, I have to reevaluate my support for her nomination," said Hatch.

The Salt Lake Tribune also reported:

Sen. Orrin Hatch cast his first vote against a nominee for President Barack Obama's Cabinet, saying that the pick for Health and Human Services omitted telling the Senate Finance Committee about campaign donations from an abortion doctor.

Republican Hatch previously backed other nominees despite critics from his own party who said unpaid taxes or related missteps should have disqualified them. Hatch said the president should get his choices for his administration unless they're unqualified or unethical.

Tuesday, Hatch said HHS nominee Kathleen Sebelius should have disclosed all donations by George Tiller, an abortion doctor under investigation by the medical board in her home state of Kansas. The complaint under review involves allegations he performed late-term abortions without getting the independent second opinions required by state law. A Wichita jury last month acquitted Tiller of 19 misdemeanors stemming from similar allegations.

Sebelius responded to Senate Finance Committee questions that Tiller had given her $12,450 but then revised that to add another $23,000 after an Associated Press report pointed out her political action committee had received funds as well.

Hatch, a pro-life Republican, said he was "disappointed" and voted with seven other GOP senators against her in committee.

Senator Hatch commented further:

Although Governor Sebelius initially seemed to be the right person for the job based on her long record of public service, unfortunately, I had to reevaluate my support for her nomination after learning about her inexplicable omission of donations from the late-term abortion doctor George Tiller.

My service in Congress has always been based on the conviction that life is sacred. When I served as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I shepherded legislation to ban partial birth abortion through the Senate. Getting that bill signed into law was one of my proudest legislative accomplishments. My strong beliefs in the sanctity of life simply made it impossible for me to support Governor Sebelius' nomination.

Reforming our nation's health care system to provide every American access to quality and affordable health care is one of my top priorities. Governor Sebelius will play a key role in reforming our health care system. Although we do not agree on some very important issues, I am confident that we will be able to work together to ensure quality health care for every American family.

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