Senate Committee Casts Tie Vote on Pro-Abortion HHS Nominee Xavier Becerra, Full Senate Vote Soon

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 3, 2021   |   12:27PM   |   Washington, DC

The Senate Finance Committee cast a tie vote this morning on the nomination of abortion activist Xavier Becerra to become the Secretary for health and Human Services.

The 14-14 party-line vote, with Democrats supporting the pro-abortion California Attorney General and Republicans opposing his nomination, sets up a full Senate vote as it forces pro-abortion Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer to file a motion on the Senate floor to bring his nomination out of committee.

The Senate will have to cast two votes for Becerra to be approved — one to allow the nomination to come to the floor and a second on the nomination itself.

ACTION ALERT: Contact your two senators and urge a NO vote on abortion activist Xavier Becerra’s HHS nomination. Call (202) 224-3121 or go here for specific contact info.

During his confirmation hearings, Joe Biden’s nominee to be the HHS Secretary desperately tried to cover up his attempt to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to fund abortions today during a Senate hearing on his confirmation. Although the abortion activist fought in court to make the Little Sisters pay for abortion-causing drugs in their health care plan, he claimed during the hearing that he “never sued any nuns.”

Becerra sued the federal government in 2017 because President Donald Trump has instituted a pro-life rule to protect Christians from having to pay for abortions under the Obamacare abortion mandate. The Little Sisters of the Poor fought the lawsuit because they knew if the mandate were enforced and the pro-life rule overturn, their conscience rights would be in jeopardy.

During the confirmation hearing, pro-life Senator John Thune of South Dakota asked Becerra if he would continue pushing the abortion mandate as HHS Secretary.

“I understand that Americans have different…beliefs on this particular issue,” Becerra said in response. “By the way, I have never sued any nuns. I have taken on the federal government, but I’ve never sued any affiliation of nuns. My actions have always been directed at federal agencies because they have been trying to do things that are contrary to the law.”

Asked again about religious freedom issues by pro-life Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, Becerra again framed what he did in a way that looks misleading.

“The actions we took were against the federal government, and once again, we were defending our state’s law and its rights under the law,” Becerra said.

Although technically Becerra filed his initial lawsuit against the federal government rather than suing the Little Sisters of the Poor directly, it’s a distinction without a difference because the Catholic nuns would be forced to fund abortions had he won. Instead, the Supreme Court slapped down his attempt to undermine religious freedom.

Asked by pro-life Senator Mike Braun of Indiana about abortion funding, Becerra merely said he would support the law — even if the law forces Christians to fund abortions.

“Will you commit to not using taxpayer funds to fund abortion?” Braun asked?

The HHS nominee refused to agree and replied, “We will follow the law.”

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, told it’s issues like this that make it so Becerra should not be confirmed.

“During his time in public office, Xavier Becerra has displayed a vindictiveness towards those who protect the unborn as well as a disregard for actual healthcare. He has a record of using his position to aggressively attack pro-life institutions and individuals, and clearly has no qualms about wielding his political power to promote taxpayer-funded abortions on demand up until birth – something with which the majority of Americans disagree. Confirming this nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services will only further divide America. Americans deserve a well-qualified professional with real medical experience at the helm of HHS, not a puppet for big abortion,” she said.

One of the lawyers for the Little Sisters, Mark Rienzi, president of Becket, characterized Becerra’s actions as “petty governments harassing nuns.”

“Governments don’t need nuns to distribute contraceptives,” Rienzi said in June. “But they do need religious groups to care for the elderly, heal the sick and feed the hungry. These governments all have real work they ought to be doing rather than dividing people with old and unnecessary culture wars.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Little Sisters’ case in June, but Biden said he would reverse Trump’s religious freedom rule and force the Little Sisters, Hobby Lobby and other religious employers to pay for abortifacients for their employees.

Becerra’s pro-abortion politics hurt pregnancy resource centers and the mothers and babies who depend on them as well. In 2018, he defended a California law that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs advertising abortions; however, he lost at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority, slammed the law as a violation of the First Amendment.

“The licensed notice is a content-based regulation. By compelling petitioners to speak a particular message, it ‘alters the content of [their] speech,’” Thomas wrote. “… the people lose when the government is the one deciding which ideas should prevail…. This Court’s precedents are deeply skeptical of laws that ‘distinguis[h] among different speakers, allowing speech by some but not others.’”

If the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of Becerra, pro-life pregnancy centers either would have been forced to advertise abortions or pay crippling fines for their refusal to comply with the mandate.

As attorney general, Becerra also challenged a Trump rule that defunded Planned Parenthood of about $60 million in Title X funds and, notoriously, took up the prosecution of pro-life journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt who exposed Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trade.

Years earlier, while serving in Congress, Becerra had a 100-percent pro-abortion voting record from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, PJ Media reports. His actions included voting against a ban on partial-birth abortion and for taxpayer-funded abortions.

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser described Becerra as “aggressively pro-abortion and a foe of free speech.” And PJ Media writer Tyler O’Neil pointed out that Biden’s choice contradicts his message of unity and restoration.

“Joe Biden campaigned on a platform to ‘restore the soul of America,’ but he has doubled down on the country’s partisan divisions. Nominating a Planned Parenthood lackey like Becerra to HHS throws gasoline on the fires of the culture war,” O’Neil wrote.

Becerra’s and Biden’s radical positions are vastly out of touch with most Americans. National polling consistently shows Americans — including people who are “pro-choice” on abortion — oppose late-term abortions and do not want their tax dollars to pay for them.

Though Becerra claims to be Catholic, his record involving unborn babies and those who work to protect them is terrible. As head of HHS, Becerra would have even more power to advance a radical anti-life agenda, including expanding late-term abortions on babies capable of feeling pain and forcing taxpayers to pay for their deaths.

ACTION ALERT: Contact your two senators and urge a NO vote on abortion activist Xavier Becerra’s HHS nomination. Call (202) 224-3121 or go here for specific contact info.