GOP Blocks Sebelius' Confirmation

She's pressed to answer more questions on abortion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2009 3:47 AM CDT
Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – President Obama will have to wait until at least next week to have a complete Cabinet after Senate Republicans blocked the immediate confirmation of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius yesterday, AP reports. A vote on the Health and Human Services Secretary nominee—whose appointment is fiercely opposed by anti-abortion groups—will now take place after debate next Tuesday, when the Democrats expect to prevail.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele called for Obama to withdraw Sebelius' name unless she answered more questions about her relationship with an abortion doctor and her position on late-term abortions. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dismissed Steele's complaints as "a baseless attack from someone desperate to stake a claim as the leader of the leaderless Republicans."