Sylvia Burwell Confirmed new Secretary of the Health and Human Services

The Senate confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Thursday as the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by a bipartisan vote of 78-17.  Burwell, the outgoing director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, was President Barack Obama’s top choice to succeed the embattled Kathleen Sebelius, who announced plans to step down as secretary in April.

The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday voted 21-3 to approve Sylvia Burwell as the next Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department,  Health and Human Services oversees the FDA and NIH, both very important to the Rare Disease Community.

Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, was backed by all of the Democrats on the committee and most of the Republicans. Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and John Thune (R-S.D.) voted against her nomination.

Once confirmed by the full Senate, Burwell will take the place of outgoing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who is stepping aside after coming under heavy criticism for her leadership during the botched rollout of ObamaCare.

Burwell’s nomination met little resistance in the Senate; members of both parties touted her leadership skills and her work as director of the budget office. Read the full article here.