GOP Senator: A 'LinkedIn Search' Would Yield Candidates More Qualified Than Biden's HHS Nominee


Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford slammed one of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks, Xavier Becerra, on Friday as a “radical” pro-abortion leftist who is not qualified to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

Becerra, a former Democratic member of Congress who in his current role as attorney general of California sued the Trump administration 122 times, has very little notable experience pertaining to health, except for his time serving on the House subcommittee on health. Becerra has, however, taken numerous actions against pro-life organizations and laws.

“He might be qualified to be attorney general, but just like a doctor shouldn’t be the attorney general, we shouldn’t have an attorney be the head of Health and Human Services,” Lankford told The Western Journal in an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.

“This is the top medical professional for the country in the sense — we need a scientist, we need somebody who’s been in health administration. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and to be able to bring in an attorney to be able to do this is the wrong direction.”

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“If I was doing a LinkedIn search of somebody and I put all the criteria in it, his name would not pop up in this, because he doesn’t have the background to be able to do this task,” the Oklahoma Republican added.

Lankford also took aim at some of Becerra’s actions as attorney general of California.

In a 2017 lawsuit, Becerra sought to force the Little Sisters of the Poor — a charity that helps impoverished seniors — to purchase and provide birth control to their employees in order to comply with the contraception coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration had given a religious exemption to the group, and Becerra reacted by suing the nuns.

Do you think Xavier Becerra is a good choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services?

“Obviously, this violates their religious rights,” Lankford said. “Now [Becerra] would literally be in charge of the issues that he fought against from HHS to then actually enforcing those issues from HHS.”

Lankford added that he believes Biden picked Becerra because of the California attorney general’s “radical” pro-abortion views.

In 2003, Becerra voted against a partial-birth abortion ban. Moreover, he refused to name a single abortion restriction he would support during his testimony before senators on Wednesday.

“I believe that Biden picked him because he is one of the most radical pro-abortion legislators — when he was a legislator and attorney general — in our American history,” Lankford said.

“I find it very ironic that the head of HHS — Health and Human Services — doesn’t see every child as actually human and deserving of protection. I think every child should be protected, not just some children.”

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It’s not the first time Lankford has spoken out strongly against Becerra’s nomination.

As Lankford said during an impassioned Senate speech last month, Becerra “has actually no health care experience at all. It’s a little surprising to a lot of us when we saw it, because we are used to seeing the leader of Health and Human Services be a physician or scientist.”

“Which would make sense in the time of an enormous global pandemic to have a physician leading health and human services, but he actually nominated someone that his biggest qualification is he is one of the most radical advocates for abortion in the country,” he continued.

“He [advocated for it] as a House member. He did as an attorney general in California. And clearly, the promise was made he’ll do it if you put him into Health and Human Services.”

He pointed out that Becerra had sued Mississippi for enacting a law banning abortion if an unborn child was far enough to be pain-capable, voted against the Abortion Survivors Protection Act and “fought to require churches to pay for abortion care in their health care plans when it directly violated their religious belief.”

“It should be baseline for us to be able to say, ‘If a child is actually delivered in a botched abortion and had been fully delivered outside the womb, we should help that child get medical care.’ I don’t understand why that’s so hard,” Lankford said.

“I don’t understand why it’s so hard to say, ‘Some people are absolutely appalled by the taking of a child’s life. Don’t force them with their tax dollars to pay for it.’ I don’t understand why that’s controversial.

“I don’t understand why it’s controversial that when a child can feel pain in the womb, that we shouldn’t dismember a child in the womb. I don’t understand why that’s controversial,” he continued.

“I don’t understand why it’s controversial to some that if a health care provider who has sworn to protect life, that that person shouldn’t be compelled to take life in an abortion procedure by their employer. I don’t understand why that’s controversial. But for some reason, it is.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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