Obama pushes for Tavenner confirmation hearing

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The Obama Administration is pushing the Senate Democrats to hold a confirmation hearing for Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to news reports.

Since Tavenner's appointment, Senate Democrats have been reluctant to conduct an official confirmation hearing due to a likely Republican filibuster. But White House spokesman Nick Papas and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) both said this week that the hearing should happen. Tavenner is the past Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources.

“I'm not sure which is worse — that the Senate doesn't feel the need to hold a confirmation hearing for the person in charge of the largest single line item in the federal budget or that it's an open question whether someone as qualified as Marilyn Tavenner could get confirmed in this political climate,” Kaine said, according to Politico.

Tavenner was the deputy administrator at CMS before she was tapped to replace her boss, Donald Berwick, M.D. Berwick resigned in December 2011 due to the improbability of being confirmed.