WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's nominee for health secretary is winning GOP praise as she makes her first appearance before a Senate committee.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell is called highly qualified to take over as Health and Human Services secretary and assume leadership of the president's health law.
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) had effusive praise as he introduced Burwell to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Thursday. McCain lauded Burwell for agreeing to lead HHS, a job he said was like "taking over the Titanic after it hit the iceberg."
Senior committee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander took the opportunity to criticize "Obamacare" — but he also cited Burwell's reputation for competence.
The comments indicated Burwell could be headed for a smooth confirmation even while she is called upon to defend the unpopular health law.