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U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued the following statement after President Trump announced his intent to nominate Alex Azar to serve as HHS Secretary:

“The challenges plaguing the American healthcare system are serious. For too long, hardworking, middle-class families have been forced to bear the brunt of Obamacare’s failures in the form of higher premiums and fewer choices. The leader of HHS will be at the tip of the spear, working to not only right the wrongs of this deeply flawed law but also ensure the long-term sustainability of both Medicare and Medicaid. Mr. Azar has the experience, knowledge and fortitude to take on these daunting challenges. I look forward to learning about his plan to restore our faith in our nation’s healthcare system and get it back on track doing what it does best – saving lives and improving the health and well-being of all Americans. I hope my colleagues on the Finance Committee will work with me in the advancement of a fair and transparent vetting process for this nominee.”

Background
Each nominee that moves through the Senate Finance Committee undergoes the same bipartisan vetting process as the nominees from previous administrations. Traditionally, each nominee is required to submit a questionnaire as well as full copies of their tax returns to the committee for review. Once the internal vetting process is completed, the Finance Committee will schedule a date for a confirmation hearing.

The Senate Finance Committee, the committee with the largest jurisdiction in either House of Congress, oversees more than 50 percent of the federal budget and has jurisdiction over large portions of the American healthcare system, including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP.