Obama Sends Berwick Nomination Back to Senate for Confirmation
On Monday, President Obama resubmitted for Senate confirmation his nomination of Donald Berwick for CMS administrator, one week after Berwick was sworn in to the position, CQ Today reports.
Although Berwick was nominated in April, the Senate Finance Committee never scheduled a confirmation hearing. The Obama administration faulted Republicans, who alleged that Berwick supports rationing care, for the delay (CQ Today, 7/19).
On July 7, Obama chose to sidestep the traditional confirmation process by using "recess appointment" procedures to name Berwick to the CMS post.
As a recess appointee, Berwick has all the powers of a permanent appointee, but he can serve only until the end of the 111th Congress.
Berwick must be re-nominated and confirmed by the Senate (California Healthline, 7/13).
On Monday, the White House did not release a statement about the re-nomination (CQ Today, 7/19). However, a White House aide said the effort to clear Berwick through the Senate would ensure that Berwick can stay on as CMS administrator indefinitely (Bendery, Roll Call, 7/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.