The Senate on Tuesday by voice vote unanimously confirmed Peter Orszag as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki as Department of Veterans Affairs secretary and the nominations of six other Cabinet secretaries, the Los Angeles Times reports (Hook, Los Angeles Times, 1/21). According to the Wall Street Journal, Orszag, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, likely will "work closely with Mr. Obama to help reduce federal spending, and to overhaul health care spending," which Orszag has "repeatedly stated is crucial to getting the U.S. back on a sound financial footing" (Boles/Yoest, Wall Street Journal, 1/21). Among other promises, Shinseki has said that he will seek to improve the delivery of benefits to veterans (Schatz, CQ Today, 1/20).

The Senate also likely will confirm HHS Secretary-designate and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), but his nomination first requires approval by the Senate Finance Committee (Sands, Washington Times, 1/20). A review of tax records conducted by committee Republicans has delayed a vote on the Daschle nomination (Los Angeles Times, 1/21). The committee has not scheduled a date for the vote (CQ Today, 1/20).

Reprinted with kind permission from kaisernetwork. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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