“We want them to know there is a political cost to voting for Becerra and if they vote yes they will see it in 100 ads by 2022,” the adviser said. “Anything that’s wrong with health care over the next two years, and there will inevitably be problems, can be tied to this vote.
Republicans opposed to Becerra cite his support for abortion rights and “Medicare for All” and have tried to link it to the troubled pandemic response of California Governor Gavin Newsom. Becerra has also drawn opposition from a trio of large conservative groups who have in recent days launched a multi-million dollar advertising campaign to sink his nomination, as well as that of Biden’s choice for associate attorney general.
The Students for Life anti-abortion advocacy group is also launching digital ads this week targeting Hassan and Warnock, as well as a group of eight Democrats and moderate Republicans: Senators Joe Manchin, Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Bob Casey Michael Bennet, Jon Tester and Kyrsten Sinema. The group also plans to hold rallies this week outside the offices of these senators.
“We have identified Becerra as someone who could be defeated and should be defeated,” said Kristi Hamrick, spokesperson for the group’s political arm.
The Senate HELP Committee will question Becerra on Tuesday, followed by the Finance Committee on Wednesday – although only the latter will vote to advance her Senate nomination. And despite the GOP’s staunch opposition to Becerra, Democrats remain confident that he will have the votes to be confirmed – even if by a narrow margin.
“I did not hear any growls, warning signs or alarm bells,” said a senior Democratic official. “I have no reason to believe there is a problem.”
Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the Biden transition, called Becerra a “tested and qualified” leader in a statement highlighting his bipartisan work as California attorney general to expand access to Covid treatments and confront manufacturers of opioids.
“We look forward to his hearings and confirmation votes,” Bates said.
Democrats also predict that Republican efforts to block Becerra will backfire, both because he is said to be the first Latino to hold the post and because of the urgent need to install the top government health official for a while. a pandemic that is still raging.
“Regardless of the party, anyone who wants the Biden-Harris administration to succeed in ending this pandemic should support the confirmation of Attorney General Becerra, a qualified and experienced candidate, as quickly as possible so that he can get down to business in the head of the health department of our country ”. said HELP Senate Speaker Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
Becerra has met with virtually more than 40 senators from both sides and will hold at least two more meetings on Monday, according to Biden’s team working on Cabinet appointments. At these meetings, Becerra highlighted her health policy experience over 12 terms in the House, which included her work on the Affordable Care Act, and her role as California’s leading lawyer advocating for l ‘ACA and sue opioid manufacturers and tobacco companies. He will deliver a similar message during Hill’s testimony this week.
Democrats are also skeptical that Becerra’s appointment will sound like a campaign issue in over a year.
But Republicans plan to put this theory to the test. In a recent call with anti-abortion groups Students for Life and Susan B. Anthony List, Cotton and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) Conceded that Becerra’s defense of abortion rights might not upset many Democratic lawmakers, and urged Tories to target different senators with different messages.
“We don’t need 51 senators to all agree on why they say no, we just need 51 senators to say no,” Cotton told campaigners.
This week’s confirmation hearings “will be death by a thousand cuts,” a GOP Senate aide predicted. “Some senators will focus on the number of times he sued their states. Some will focus on Medicare for All. Some will focus on abortion and Covid lockdowns. He keeps giving us a lot of things to work with.