The confirmation of President Joe Biden’s nomination to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is being delayed by a top Senate Republican over a recent Medicaid waiver decision.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is temporarily blocking Chiquita Brooks-LaSure’s nomination after the Biden administration rescinded Texas’ Medicaid waiver, approved by the Trump administration in January. It would have extended the state’s Medicaid plan for another 10 years.
CMS officials said they rescinded the waiver because the state did not go through the full rulemaking process. The agency said it would work with Texas on its waiver resubmission.
“I’m going to hold her nomination until we can sort something out,” Cornyn told STAT News earlier this week. “This is our basic safety net for healthcare in Texas, and for the administration to pull the rug out from under us like that is just unacceptable.”
How long Cornyn’s hold lasts is in the hands of Senate Maj. Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who can decide how long to honor the hold, according to the report. It’s unlikely Schumer would allow Cornyn’s move to derail the confirmation.
Brooks-LaSure faced a relatively uneventful hearing last week before the Senate Finance committee. It is widely expected she’ll be confirmed within the next week.