As she should have BEEN. This swine flu or H1N1 is no joke and many are going to die from this illness, we appreciate Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, but she is not a PHYSICIAN, Regina Benjamin is. The hold up was the Republicans in the senate, but as this dangerous flu is ramping up around the United States of America, politics MUST take a back seat and the Republicans saw holding this nomination up would not be in their best interest.
On the Senate floor on Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed Republicans for slowing down, and in some cases, blocking the confirmation of nominees for various posts in the Obama administration.
Springboarding off the H1N1 swine flu epidemic, Mr. Reid noted that the Senate has yet to confirm Dr. Regina Benjamin as the surgeon general. Republican leaders had blocked her confirmation in a protest over a so-called “gag order” on insurance companies and the information they could relay to Medicare recipients about pending health care legislation. Although the administration relented on the “gag,” Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader and other G.O.P. senators said earlier this week that they still had questions about the issue.
Late last week, President Obama declared a national emergency because of the flu outbreak, Mr. Reid noted, adding: “Unfortunately, though, right now we have no permanent surgeon general in place. And the reason is as simple as it is mind-boggling: Republicans in the Senate refuse to confirm President Obama’s exceptionally qualified nominee for this job.”
In addition to Dr. Benjamin, Mr. Reid singled out Dr. Tara O’Toole, who would oversee bioterrorism defense at the Department of Homeland Security. “For that position, President Obama nominated an expert in combating both pandemics and bioterror attacks,” Mr. Reid said, adding: “Imagine that: Americans are bracing against a flu epidemic here at home and threats of terrorism from abroad, the President nominated someone highly experienced in both of those areas, and Republicans are saying no.”
So, Harry Reid took the helm and got Regina Benjamin confirmed, TONIGHT.
The Senate on Thursday confirmed Dr. Regina Benjamin to be the U.S. surgeon general, elevating a well-known Alabama family physician to be the nation's top doctor.
Benjamin, 53, was approved by voice vote.
Enough of the damn STALLING. This is why people are very cynical of Washington, DC being broken.