Over almost unanimous opposition from Republicans, the Senate confirmed Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human services on Thursday.
The Biden administration touted Becerra's nomination on the grounds that his identity makes it extra special. Becerra, who previously was the current Attorney General of California, is the first Latino to ever hold the position as HHS secretary. He is the 20th Cabinet member appointed since Biden's Inauguration on Jan. 20.
According to Fox News, the vote in the Senate was 50-49, with only Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) crossing party lines and voting with the Democrats.
Becerra has previously clashed ideologically with Republicans on a wide range of issues, from immigration policy to abortion to gun control, among others issues.
Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had the following to say:
"There's a reason Mr. Becerra could not get one single Republican vote to move out of committee. It's because he is such a thoroughly partisan actor with so little subject-matter expertise and such a demonstrated history of hostility toward basic values like the freedom of conscience.
"There is nothing about Mr. Becerra's record in Congress or in California to suggest he is the best possible person to run the Department of Health and Human Services in the middle of a once-in-a-generation viral pandemic."