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Sen. Cruz on the Senate Floor: Left-Wing Trial Lawyer Xavier Becerra is Woefully Unqualified to Serve as HHS Secretary

Urges his colleagues to oppose the nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to vote against President Biden's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Xavier Becerra. Excerpts of his remarks are below.

WATCH: Sen. Cruz on the Senate Floor: Left-Wing Trial Lawyer Becerra is Woefully Unqualified to Serve at HHS

"I rise to oppose the nomination of Xavier Becerra for Secretary of Health and Human Services. There are, unfortunately, numerous nominees in the Biden administration who are either extreme or unqualified for the positions for which they have been nominated, but of all of those nominees, I believe Mr. Becerra is the single worst cabinet nominee put forward by Joe Biden to serve in the cabinet. President Biden has told this country repeatedly that his top priority is defeating the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Health and Human Services is on the frontline fighting COVID-19. Mr. Becerra, by any measure, is woefully unqualified to lead that department. Mr. Becerra is not a doctor. Mr. Becerra is not a scientist. Mr. Becerra has no health care experience whatsoever, no medical experience whatsoever. He has no experience in neurology. He has no experience with pharmaceuticals. He has no experience running a state or local healthcare agency. He has no experience in logistics - the Department of HHS is in the process of distributing and administering hundreds of millions of vaccines." [...]

"Mr. Becerra's only qualification, and indeed the qualification that earned him this nomination, is he is a radical left-wing trial attorney and if a Republican president had nominated as the head of the Health and Human Services Agency someone with zero health care experience, zero medical experience, zero pharmaceutical experience in the midst of a global pandemic, that Republican president would have been laughed out of the room." [...]

"As best I can tell, Madam President, Xavier Becerra's only experience with healthcare is suing the Little Sisters of the Poor. Frankly, it should be a joke. If a Republican president did this, a Republican Senate would discover the backbone to stand up and oppose it, and what I would say is it is sad not a single Democrat is willing to stand up to Joe Biden and say, ‘No, try again. It's a pandemic - over a half million Americans have died. How about put someone in HHS that knows something about health care?'" [...]

"What Mr. Becerra does know about is persecuting citizens who don't share his radical left-wing ideology. Mr. Becerra as attorney general of California has demonstrated a consistent pattern of contempt for privacy. While Attorney General, he used his partisan power to overcome the individual privacy rights of Californians. As Attorney General, he demanded that thousands of registered charities annually disclose to his offices the names and addresses of major donors - even though California law didn't require that. But he used government power to violate their right to privacy. Then what did he do? Did he keep it private for law enforcement purposes to examine irregularities? No, instead he published the information from nearly 2,000 organizations, subjecting donors and those nonprofits to harassment and abuse. [...] Later this year, the United States Supreme Court will decide whether Mr. Becerra's invasion of privacy violated the First Amendment of the Constitution."[...]

"The third reason Mr. Becerra's nomination is so concerning concerns conscience protections. The next HHS secretary will be responsible for upholding the conscience protections that are written in federal law to protect the rights of people of faith, whatever your faith - whether you're Christian or Jewish or Muslim or whatever your faith might be - the right of professionals, of citizens under the First Amendment to live according to their faith. But Mr. Becerra as Attorney General has aggressively defended a California law that forced pro-life groups to advertise for abortion - a law that the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional under the First Amendment." [...]

"If nominations and confirmations were based on the merits, were based on qualification to serve, Mr. Becerra's nomination would be rejected by the Senate by a vote of 100 to nothing. The fact that that is unlikely to happen, that every Democrat will march lockstep with the Biden administration to confirm a nominee who has no healthcare experience whatsoever in the midst of a global pandemic, shows just how profoundly partisan and radicalized today's Democratic Party is. I believe all of us should be united in demanding a Health and Human Services secretary who's actually qualified to protect our health and defeat this pandemic. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote against this nomination."