WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: CA AG Xavier Becerra’s Selection to Serve as HHS Secretary

December 8, 2020

Yesterday, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced California AG Xavier Becerra would be nominated to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, a crucial post as the country continues to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. AG Becerra’s selection is historic as he would be the first Latino to serve as HHS Secretary. Today, President-elect Joe Biden formally introduced AG Becerra to the nation.

While in Congress, AG Becerra served as Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, providing essential leadership in drafting, and passing the Affordable Care Act. During his tenure as California Attorney General, Becerra led the Democratic Attorney General coalition defending the Affordable Care Act, and health care for millions of Americans including those with pre-existing conditions, from the Republican Attorneys General and the Trump Administration ACA repeal lawsuit.

People across the political spectrum and across the country are praising this historic selection:

Former HHS Secretaries

  • Sylvia Burwell: As a former HHS Secretary, I’m excited by the choice of @AGBecerra to lead the department at this critical time. I had the opportunity to work with Xavier when he was in the Congressional leadership. [LINK]
  • Rep. Donna Shalala: Welcome to the club my friend. I’m thrilled for you and our country. [LINK]

Democratic Attorneys General

  • DAGA Co-Chair Nevada AG Aaron Ford: A fantastic choice. I couldn’t be prouder of my @DemocraticAGs colleague, @XavierBecerra, who has led our coalition defending the Affordable Care Act from the Trump Administration repeal lawsuit.  He’ll be a great HHS Secretary. [LINK]
  • DAGA Co-Chair Massachusetts AG Maura Healey: I know firsthand that @XavierBecerra is a fearless advocate for the American people. I can’t wait to see the great work he will do as HHS Secretary. Dem AGs get the job done! [LINK]
  • New York AG Tish James: Congratulations to @XavierBecerra on being nominated Secretary of HHS. AG Becerra has long fought for our communities and has worked tirelessly to protect access to quality, affordable health care. I know he’ll continue that work in Washington. [LINK]

Latino Affinity Groups

  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus: .@HispanicCaucus is proud that @AGBecerra, a dedicated public servant, will be nominated by President-Elect @JoeBiden to lead @HHSGov. As AG, Becerra led the charge to defend the Affordable Care Act. Becerra has lived the American Dream and is a champion for working families. [LINK]
  • Latino Victory: From protecting the Affordable Care Act to fighting for COVID relief — AG @XavierBecerra has the experience and expertise to lead the Department of Health and Human Services during these critical times. We applaud this historic and inspiring nomination. [LINK]
  • Voto Latino: .@XavierBecerra’s leadership at @HHSGov will shepherd our country through COVID. He will center it on equity & justice that is needed & sorely lacking. As CA’s AG, he took the fight to Trump. Becerra will take that spirit to resource the most vulnerable. We’re lucky he’s there. [LINK]
  • UnidosUS: It’s not where we thought they’d use @AGBecerra’s considerable skills & track record but an historic & stellar choice by @JoeBiden. Xavier excelled in Congress & as CA AG. He’ll do the same as HHS Sec during the greatest health crisis of our time. #proyecto20 @transition46 [LINK]

Progressive Members of Congress:

  • Rashida Talib: It’s exciting that we’ll finally have a #MedicareForAll advocate leading the Department of Health and Human Services. Congratulations @XavierBecerra! [LINK]
  • Ro Khanna: .@AGBecerra supported Medicare for all, has stood up to pharmaceutical companies, and can work to give states federal waivers for single payer systems. He is a strong choice and has always worked well with progressives. [LINK]
  • Mondaire Jones: A health secretary who supports Medicare for All. My kind of nominee. [LINK]

U.S. Senators

  • Senator Patty Murray, Ranking Member Senate HELP Committee: .@XavierBecerra’s long record of fighting for patients makes him an excellent choice to lead @HHSGov. He’s a highly qualified nominee, & I’ll push for a swift, fair confirmation so we can get to work on the serious health care issues our nation faces. [LINK]
  • Former Democratic AG, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: Looking forward to having a qualified and knowledgeable public servant leading HHS during a pandemic. Congratulations, @AGBecerra! [LINK]
  • Senator Mazie Hirono: My friend @XavierBecerra fought for health care as a right not a privilege during our 6 years together in the House and continued that fight as California AG. To start, as HHS Secretary, his strong leadership will be instrumental in getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control. [LINK]
  • Senator Ron Wyden: Xavier Becerra is an excellent choice to lead HHS at a time when his experience and commitment to Americans’ health and well-being is needed most. He’s been a staunch defender of affordable health care and pre-existing condition protections in the face of Donald Trump’s attacks. [LINK]

Union Groups

  • American Federation of Teachers: Congratulations to @XavierBacerra! It’s a pivotal moment for our country and the fight against #COVID19. I know that Bacerra is up to the task. [LINK]
  • SEIU: .@SEIU members have been fortunate to work with @XavierBecerra over the years to strengthen our home care workforce, defend Medicaid and protect immigrant families. He is an outstanding addition to the already-strong team @JoeBiden is building. [LINK]
  • Teamsters: #Teamsters applaud @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris’s selection of @AGBecerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. @XavierBecerra will bring the dedication for worker justice, safety & equality he showed as California’s AG to HHS. [LINK]
  • AFL-CIO: .@JoeBiden is proving his administration sees working people as essential—not expendable. @XavierBecerra will be an excellent HHS secretary b/c he’s a true advocate for working people and our top issues—from corporate accountability to healthcare for all to workplace safety. [LINK]
  • UFCW: America’s essential workers need leaders who put their health and safety first as they continue to serve on the frontlines of #COVID19. @XavierBecerra is ready to lead as @HHSgov Secretary, with proven track of expanding health care for working families. [LINK]

Reproductive Rights Groups

  • NARAL: Huge! @XavierBecerra at HHS will recenter science and facts in guiding public policy. He’s compassionate, committed to reproductive freedom and to health care as a human right. Trump’s HHS was the home of some of the Administration’s worst horrors. A new era has begun indeed. [LINK]
  • Planned Parenthood: The American people gave Joe Biden and Kamala Harris a mandate to protect us from COVID-19 and to advance and expand our sexual and reproductive rights. With this nomination, they are beginning to meet the call. [LINK]
  • Catholics for Choice: “No government, state or federal, has the right to make personal decisions for a woman about her body or her healthcare,” @AGBecerra said leading an effort challenging restrictive #abortion laws. A terrific prochoice Catholic @HHSGov pick from @JoeBiden! [LINK]

Gun Reform Groups

  • Brady PAC: Gun violence in America is a public health crisis. We’re elated that @JoeBiden has nominated two gun safety champions — @XavierBecerra and @vivek_murthy — who will treat this preventable epidemic with the urgency it demands. Together, we can save lives. #EndGunViolence [LINK]
  • Moms Demand: Attorney General Becerra has been on the front lines of the fight for gun safety for decades, and he’s got several @NRA F-ratings to prove it. As a Californian, I’m thrilled with this nomination. [LINK]
  • Giffords PAC: We desperately need leaders who will confront America’s public health crises, from COVID-19 to gun violence. AG @XavierBecerra has a strong record of taking action on both & is an excellent choice to lead HHS. [LINK]

Health Care Experts

  • Kaiser Family Foundation: KFF congratulates our Attorney General Xavier Becerra on the news of his appointment. We are proud to have the AG from our home state who has been  such a leader on health care take the helm at HHS and we look forward to a productive working relationship. [LINK]
  • Andy Slavitt: As HHS, @AGBecerra who will become Secretary, is probably the singular top champion of the ACA. As opposed to the current guy, who, uh, isn’t. Good luck to those who try to take pre-existing condition protections from people again under his watch. [LINK]
  • Topher Spiro: Xavier Becerra was laser-focused on protecting your health care. I know this because his team reached out many times. He is the right person to protect and expand health care at HHS. [LINK]

Health Care Advocates

  • Protect Our Care: I couldn’t be more pleased with the choice of @XavierBecerra to head @HHSGov. @XavierBecerra is the whole package. He’s a leader, has vast experience and he’s a true health care champion. He has all the tools to lead on Covid and health care. Smart pick. Great pick by @JoeBiden [LINK]
  • Ady Barkan: I’m really excited for @XavierBecerra to lead HHS. He believes deeply that health care is a human right, and he has said repeatedly that HHS should use its full power to take on Big Pharma greed. An excellent pick by @JoeBiden! [LINK]
  • Peter Morley: President-elect Joe Biden has selected AG Xavier Becerra, Democratic attorney general of California, as his nominee for secretary of health and human services. AG Becerra has led an AG coalition against attacks on the ACA! [LINK]

Equality Groups

  • Human Rights Campaign: .@XavierBecerra has been an ally to the LGBTQ community throughout his public life. He is a great pick for HHS Secretary and we look forward to watching him protect the health care of all people in this country. [LINK]
  • Equality CA: A statement from our Executive Director @rick_zbur on the nomination of longtime #LGBTQ+ ally and pro-equality champion, @XavierBecerra, to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [LINK]
  • CA LGBT Caucus: Attorney General @XavierBecerra has been a champion and ally of the LGBTQ community and we wish him the best in the @JoeBiden/@KamalaHarris Administration. [LINK]

Climate Advocate Groups

  • LCV: Congrats, @XavierBecerra! We’re ready for a champion for clean air and water — someone who’ll listen to scientists and experts — to lead @HHSGov. [LINK]
  • Tom Steyer: We must fight for environmental justice. And @XavierBecerra will be a great champion as part of the Biden-Harris administration. [LINK]
  • Climate Power: Healthcare policy is climate policy. By nominating a climate champion like @XavierBecerra to lead @HHSGov, @JoeBiden shows he’s taking an all-of-government approach to defeat the climate crisis and protect our public health [LINK]

Immigration Groups

  • National Immigration Law Center: .@XavierBecerra has spent his career fighting to protect underserved communities & expand access to quality, affordable health care. We need Becerra’s leadership at @HHSgov, as #COVID19 continues to devastate our communities. [LINK]
  • Fair Immigration Reform Movement: .@XavierBecerra’s leadership in the fight for #DACA & #ACA makes him a great choice to lead the @HHSGov. We need leaders that know & understand the needs of our communities & who will fight so our families can have access to the resources they need amid this pandemic & beyond. [LINK]
  • America’s Voice: We congratulate California’s Attorney General @XavierBecerra, a child of immigrants, on being chosen as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Biden-Harris Administration! [LINK]

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