Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) "fully expects that CMS Administrator Berwick will testify before the Committee … in the near future," a Finance Committee aide said. Yesterday, House and Senate Republicans demanded that lawmakers be given an opportunity to question Berwick, who narrowly missed a Senate confirmation hearing after the White House decided on a recess appointment last week.
Berwick was on track for a nomination hearing just prior to his recess appointment, according to Senate Finance Committee Republicans, who along with House Ways and Means Republicans on Wednesday (July 14) called for post-nomination hearings to put Berwick's views in the spotlight. The White House said it decided to sidestep the normal process because Republicans were holding up the nomination.
Last week Baucus said he was "troubled" by the White House move, and GOP members say the hearing process was on track prior to the White House's decision. "That process had in fact proceeded to the point where a hearing had been recommended for the week of June 21," Finance Republicans wrote in a letter to Baucus calling for a post-appointment hearing. -- John Wilkerson