Topeka Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Friday said no date had been set for confirmation hearings on her nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Sebelius said she spent Wednesday and Thursday meeting with members of the two Senate committees that will conduct hearings on her selection by President Barack Obama.
“There is every indication that the chairmen want to move this fairly quickly,” Sebelius said, but added, “The timetable is yet to be determined.”
Because HHS covers so many governmental functions, it falls under the purview of the health and finance committees.
The finance committee is chaired by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is led by U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
It is the finance committee that will actually vote on whether to recommend Sebelius’ confirmation to the full Senate.
Sebelius said she is staying focused on issues before the Kansas Legislature, but also is getting familiar with the mammoth HHS agency.
“It’s a little bit like drinking out of a fire hose,” she said, but added that as a former legislator, insurance commissioner and now governor, she knows many of the issues before HHS.
Kansas Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, said Sebelius has remained engaged in the budget process in the Legislature, while also handling the confirmation process.
“I do think she is trying to do the best she can,” he said.