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HHS SECRETARY-DESIGNATE SHALALA’s CONFIRMATION HEARING SLATED FOR JAN. 14

Executive Summary

HHS Secretary-designate Donna Shalala, PhD, is slated to go before the Senate Finance Committee for her confirmation hearing on Jan. 14. The Finance Committee will later vote on whether to recommend that the full Senate confirm Shalala's nomination. President-elect Clinton nominated the University of Wisconsin-Madison chancellor for the HHS position on Dec. 11 ("The Pink Sheet" Dec. 14, 1992, p. 4). Shalala may undergo thorough questioning by the committee, but her nomination is expected to sail smoothly through the Democratic Senate. Though a number of conservatives have voiced concern about Shalala's reputation as a strong liberal, as exemplified by an effort to establish a code against "hate speech" on the Wisconsin campus, such objections may be quieted if, as expected, Wisconsin officials introducing Shalala at the hearing include either Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson or Rep. Klug. Shalala traveled to Capitol Hill on Jan. 8 in keeping with the tradition of administration nominees' paying courtesy visits to members of Congress. Finance Committee Ranking Republican Packwood (Ore.) was among the senators meeting with her. The Finance Committee hearing is expected to be chaired by incoming Chairman Moynihan (D-N.Y.), part of the transferring of responsibilities from current committee Chairman and Treasury Secretary-designate Bentsen (D-Tex.). Bentsen's own confirmation hearing before the Finance Committee is scheduled for Jan. 12. Neither Bentsen nor Moynihan has announced yet whether current staffers will be assigned to new positions when the chairmanship changes hands. Moynihan's legislative aide for health policy, Faye Drummond, has worked for the senator since 1978. She holds an MPH from Johns Hopkins and an MA in childhood education. Another aide on social issues, Paul Offner, was involved in one of Moynihan's major legislative proposals of last year, a Medicaid managed care bill ("The Pink Sheet" Dec. 14, 1992, p. 6). Moynihan's chief counsel, Joseph Gale, oversees tax issues; Moynihan generally has been supportive of Sec. 936 tax credits.
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