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HHS Nominee Faces No Questions from Senate Tax Committee About Her Tax 'Errors'
CNSNews.com ^ | April 03, 2009 | Matt Cover

Posted on 04/03/2009 4:24:01 AM PDT by Man50D

Just two days after she revealed that she owed nearly $8,000 in back taxes, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius faced largely friendly questioning from the Senate Finance Committee Thursday – with no questions at all asked about her tax situation.

The committee has jurisdiction over tax issues.

What’s more, only 11 senators – seven Democrats and four Republicans – out of a total 23 committee members had questions for Sebelius, who is President Obama’s choice to be secretary of health and human services.

The sparse attendance and short, cordial exchanges between senators and Sebelius was surprising, since the same committee grilled another Obama nominee with tax problems in February -- current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Sebelius, who had appeared Tuesday before Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, was called before the Finance Committee because it oversees Medicare and Medicaid, two of the largest programs HHS administers.

Geithner had faced withering questions from Senate Republicans during his contentious confirmation hearing, questions that eventually led to his now famous admission that his use of tax preparation software TurboTax might have led to his failure to pay nearly $35,000 in taxes.

Sebelius, however, faced no such questioning from the Senate’s tax committee, despite her admission that she could not document claimed charitable donations and had improperly deducted mortgage interest on a home she no longer owned.

Only four of the committee’s 10 Republican members – Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa; Olympia Snowe of Maine; Pat Roberts of Kansas and Mike Enzi of Wyoming -- had any questions for Sebelius.

None of those questions involved Sebelius' tax situation.

Seven Democrats expressed satisfaction with her nomination -- and told the nominee they hope that she will be easily confirmed.

“Governor Sebelius, I want to thank you for your service to our country,” the committee’s chairman, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), said. “I look forward to working with you.”

Other Democratic questions were mostly technical in nature, including questions about her understanding of mental-health funding, potential cost savings in Medicare and fighting fraud in government health-care reimbursements.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) did raise one thorny issue: government-run health insurance. Schumer asked Sebelius whether she thought a public health insurance plan was a good idea.

“Will it put pressure on the for-profit and even not-for profit entities to incorporate even more of the public good,” Schumer asked. “Do you think that a federally guaranteed option could be a gold standard?”

Sebelius answered that a government health insurance plan was definitely “an option” to be included in the health-care reform plan that Congress is expected to receive later this year.

“We have examples throughout the country that are very competitive, very effective strategies where the plans, both public and private, compete, which is exactly what I think we should want to offer the American people,” Sebelius replied. “It absolutely can happen.”

Ranking Republican Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), meanwhile, expressed his desire to work with the Kansas governor if she is confirmed.

“I want to thank you again for your willingness to serve and express again, and that if you are confirmed,” Grassley said. “I look forward to working with you in the days and months ahead.”

Notably absent from today’s questions was any mention of the issue of abortion, despite Sebelius’ rocky record as governor -- a record that critics have described as markedly pro-abortion.

In 2008, she vetoed a measure passed by the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature that strengthened the state’s parental notification law.

That measure would have required adults who take young girls to have an abortion prove they are her parents or legal guardians, required teens to prove their age (a provision intended to discover if a girl had been statutorily raped), and would have prohibited any employee of an abortion clinic from helping a minor obtain a judicial waver allowing her to have an abortion.

Sebelius has also vetoed other pro-life bills, including one requiring an explicit medical reason before allowing a late-term abortion to be performed, and a bill requiring abortionists to report the details of medical conditions necessitating a late-term abortion.

While Sebelius’ nomination may not have faced tough scrutiny from senators, a consortium of seven conservative groups views her as “unfit to lead HHS,” given her tax problems and record on abortion.

(DISCLOSURE: One of the groups that signed the statement is the Media Research Center, the parent company of CNSNews.com. The others are the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, the Susan B. Anthony List, Americans for Tax Reform, Focus on the Family and the American Family Association. )

“Gov. Sebelius may not pay her own taxes, but has no qualms about using tax dollars to pay for others’ abortions,” the groups said in a statement. “Even before she reported her tax issues, Gov. Sebelius was manifestly unqualified to run America's health care system, as illustrated by her coddling of the abortion industry at the expense of Kansas women's safety.

“As Secretary of the HHS, Gov. Sebelius will be tasked with implementing Obama's massive health care changes,” they said. “Someone so indebted to the abortion industry that she vetoes common-sense provisions is incapable of administering any meaningful change or reform in the health care sector.”

Abortion rights groups, meanwhile, have nothing but praise for the governor. NARAL Pro-Choice America President Cecile Richards called her “an excellent choice” to lead HHS.

“Gov. Sebelius is a strong advocate for health care reform and has a proven track record of increasing access to affordable care,” Richards said in a statement.

“She has a strong record of supporting commonsense prevention policies that improve health outcomes. Her ability to work in a bipartisan fashion will serve her well as the Obama dministration and Congress tackle the critical issue of health care reform for American families.”

Sebelius’ prospective boss, President Obama, meanwhile, said his nominee had a "remarkable intellect, unquestioned integrity and the kind of pragmatic wisdom you’ll tend to find in a Kansan."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: 111th; bho44; bhocabinet; bhohhs; corruptdems; democrats; hhs; obama; sebelius; taxevasion

1 posted on 04/03/2009 4:24:01 AM PDT by Man50D
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To: Man50D

I am beginning to realize that to the Senate, this is really no big deal. You can almost hear them thinking, “Eight grand?! ONLY eight grand?!”, and being glad that THEY are not being vetted.

Grrrr.

Tatt


2 posted on 04/03/2009 4:43:11 AM PDT by thesearethetimes... ("Courage, is fear that has said its prayers." DorothyBernard)
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To: thesearethetimes...

The only ones who worry about paying their taxes, are US.


3 posted on 04/03/2009 4:44:14 AM PDT by thesearethetimes... ("Courage, is fear that has said its prayers." DorothyBernard)
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To: Man50D
From the article:

Abortion rights groups, meanwhile, have nothing but praise for the governor. NARAL Pro-Choice America President Cecile Richards called her “an excellent choice” to lead HHS.

The Politically Incorrect version of this statement is:

The great baby killing groups have not but sincere snickering and lust for the governor. BLOODY NARAL baby killing (and blood thirsty) president Cecile Richards called her "an excellent choice (to be aborted)" to lead HHS. [Both Richards and Sebelius may do BLOOD washing acts on Good Friday, just as Pontius Pilate did -- in a newsconference afterwards.)
[/sarcasm off] [/bloody mode off]
4 posted on 04/03/2009 4:50:44 AM PDT by topher (Let us return to old-fashioned morality - morality that has stood the test of time...)
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To: Man50D

None of the politicians on either side work for the people anymore, they work for their masters.

They let us vote as an amusement to make us think we matter.


5 posted on 04/03/2009 4:53:44 AM PDT by dforest
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To: topher

Why is it that every domestic appointment the immaculate one makes seems to be an abortionist’s best friend?


6 posted on 04/03/2009 4:56:25 AM PDT by RU88 (The false messiah can not change water into wine any more than he can get unity from diversity.)
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To: Man50D
Our very own House of Lords....

Note to the Founding Fathers: I hope you guys are spinning.

7 posted on 04/03/2009 4:58:40 AM PDT by mewzilla (In politics the middle way is none at all. John Adams)
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To: mewzilla

“Note to the Founding Fathers: I hope you guys are spinning.”

SPINNING?! Our poor founding fathers are at this juncture in time probably resemble cyclotrons @ the rate they surely MUST be spinning!!


8 posted on 04/03/2009 5:09:07 AM PDT by Fighter@heart (Anti-troll mechanism is on & scanning all posts)
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To: Man50D
HHS Nominee Faces No Questions from Senate Tax Committee About Her Tax 'Errors'

Gee, what a surprise. Are we now starting to see how corrupt and broken our political system has become? It isn't just 0's Administration (although his administration is the icing on the cake), the corruption runs rampant through ALL levels of government.

IMO, there isn't an honest, principled, moral person currently serving in ANY elected position in America today. I have long said that if we put bars on Congress we would have 90% of the criminal element in this country locked up . . . . . . . . and they keep proving me right!

9 posted on 04/03/2009 5:13:24 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: DustyMoment

Diogenes would need an oil lamp filled by a super tanker to find an honest person in the US Congress.


10 posted on 04/03/2009 5:40:10 AM PDT by Mouton
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To: thesearethetimes...
They were probably thinking about the immortal words of Leona Helmsley - "We don't pay taxes. Only little people pay taxes"

I guess that is one of the mottos of the 0bama regime.

11 posted on 04/03/2009 5:42:10 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (FUBO Kenyan Usurper - AntiCHRIST baby killing muslim !)
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To: Man50D
Gee, I'm so glad we've got Republicans that are fighting the good fight.

I stand here with right arm out, middle finger extended and laugh. What a bunch of douche bags. We are now at the point where the power elite don't even HIDE the fact that the "rules are for thee and not for me. "

guns, drugs, DUI, taxes, manslaughter, lying under oath, gay pimp in apartment, sweet heart deals with banks, payola, graft, voter fraud, sexual relations at work site, tampering with evidence ... and on and on.

The thugs have won. I'm in Texas. I'll take my chances here. We'll be the last to go blue, but the hordes of illegals, teachers unions,african-american "victims" , liberals and really,really smart people of Houston, Dallas and Austin will spend us into poverty with the rest of the country.

12 posted on 04/03/2009 7:36:19 AM PDT by erman (Outside of a dog, a book is man's best companion. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)
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To: Mouton
Diogenes would need an oil lamp filled by a super tanker to find an honest person in the US Congress.

True fact!!

13 posted on 04/03/2009 8:27:08 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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