Sebelius HHS Confirmation on Hold

April 24, 2009 ( - Senate Republicans blocked immediate action Thursday morning when a vote was called for on Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius' nomination as Health and Human Services secretary.

The Associated Press reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced Thursday night a deal with Republicans to hold the vote. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Thursday that Sebelius has not been forthcoming about her ties to a Kansas abortion doctor, George Tiller.

Sebelius was approved by the Senate Finance Committee this week with just two of 10 GOP votes (see Sebelius Nod as HHS Secretary Heads for Full Senate ), and according to the AP, several Republicans, including the top committee Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, raised concerns about her initial failure to disclose to senators how much campaign money she got from Tiller.

Steele says President Obama should withdraw Kathleen Sebelius’ nomination as health secretary unless she answers more questions on abortion.

The move came by Republicans as Sebelius, also on Thursday, vetoed a closely watched measure that would have required doctors performing late-term abortions to report additional information to the state. She questioned whether the bill could withstand a court challenge and suggested some provisions could lead to “intimidation” of health care providers, the AP said.

Sebelius is the final Cabinet nominee awaiting confirmation. She was Obama’s second pick for the HHS job after the president’s first choice, former Senator Tom Daschle, withdrew over unpaid taxes (see Daschle Drops Out ).