President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) t…

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump Jr. cuts ad for Loeffler, Perdue in GeorgiaBiden to tap Vilsack for Agriculture secretary: reportsGeorgia elections official: Trump should ‘act more responsibly’MOREs choice of California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraBiden aims for 100 million vaccinations in first hundred daysIntercept’s DC bureau chief: Biden HHS pick is a win for the leftThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Congress faces end-of-year crunch; Biden selects his Defense secretaryMORE (D) to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is running into early opposition from Senate Republicans.
GOP lawmakers are raising concerns about Becerras lack of professional experience in the health care sector, although he did sit on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has oversight of health issues, when he served in the House.
Another red flag for Republicans is Becerras aggressive resistance to Trump administration policies as the attorney general of California.
Becerra participated in nearly 100 lawsuits challenging the Trump administration and was recently dubbed Californias anti-Trump attack dog by The New York Times.
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP hopes for escape hatch from showdown with TrumpMcConnell proposes keeping liability protection and state, local funding out of coronavirus relief billDurbin leads opposition to COVID-19 liability shield with eye on Judiciary postMORE (R-Texas), an adviser to the Senate GOP leadership, questioned his lack of direct professional experience in the health care field.
I think it would be controversial, he said of Becerras nomination. I think most of us feel like there should be some deference in the president-elects choice for his Cabinet, but some of these folks are pretty radical.
Asked if he saw Becerra as radical, Cornyn replied: Yeah.
I dont know what his Health and Human Services credentials are. Its not like [Health and Human Services Secretary] Alex Azar, who worked for pharma and had a health care background, he added. Azar was a senior executive for the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and also served as HHS general counsel in the George W. Bush administration. 
Prior to being elected Californias attorney general in 2016, Becerra spent 24 years in the House, eventually becoming chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Becerra, 62, would be the first Latino to head HHS. 
Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunSunday shows: Health officials anticipate vaccine distribution, warn of worsening pandemicABC’s Stephanopoulos to GOP senator on presidential race: ‘Why can’t you accept the results?’ Senate GOP brushes off long-shot attempt to fight Biden winMORE (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Health Committee, which has jurisdiction over Becerras nomination, raised concerns about his backing for Medicare for All and support for Planned Parenthood.
Braun said hes got tons of other reasons Im going to be uncomfortable with him.
Hes 100 percent supportive of Planned Parenthood. He is a Bernie plan endorser, Medicare for All. He has no health care experience, he added. All of that tells me that he basically is going to follow the dogma hes been behind, a California approach to things.
Im afraid hes going to emphasize a government approach, only without embracing transparency, competition and some of the other things that will only work to bring costs down, he said.
Becerra said in 2017 that he would absolutely back Medicare for All but has since signaled he would defer to Biden, who did not endorse the proposal spearheaded by liberal Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi, Schumer hit Trump but cite ‘progress’ in COVID relief talksSupport grows for stimulus checks, but they may waitOn The Money: Mnuchin pitches Pelosi 6B coronavirus deal with Trump’s blessing | White House offers direct payments, state and local aidMORE (I-Vt.).
Becerra led a coalition of 21 states this year in filing a petition to the Supreme Court challenging the Trump administrations Title X rule, which he warned had upended the nations family planning network that serves low-income women and families across the country. He has also emerged as one of the most ardent defenders of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, President Obamas signature legislative achievement, which Republicans came close to repealing in 2017.
After the Trump Justice Department made the decision not to defend ObamaCare against a constitutional challenge led by Texas and other Republican-controlled states, Becerra took the role as lead defender. The Supreme Court heard arguments in California v. Texas last month.
Also this year he led a coalition of 22 state attorneys general who challenged a Mississippi law that prohibited doctors from providing abortion services past 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcCarthy says he and McConnell back 0 stimulus checksRomney: ‘Nuts’ to invite doctor who questioned coronavirus vaccine to Senate hearing Schumer calls on Biden to bypass Congress and forgive K in student loans per personMORE (N.Y.), who served with Becerra in the House and later worked with him on immigration reform, applauded Bidens choice Tuesday.
Xavier Becerra, I knew him well, as he served in the House, and worked with him on immigration and many other issues and hes a very, very astute political leader. Hes very, very bright. Hes focused and people like him. I think hes an excellent choice, he said.
Senate Republicans, who are expected to be in the majority next year unless Democrats win two runoff races in Georgia on Jan. 5, have yet to decide how much deference to give to Bidens nominees.
Several GOP lawmakers have also raised serious objections to Bidens choice to head the Office of Management and Budget, Neera TandenNeera TandenMatt Taibbi criticizes Biden’s top picks for administration postsBiden aide seeks to ease concerns about Cabinet diversityFormer Sanders press secretary: ‘Principal concern’ of Biden appointments should be policyMORE, a close Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCivic education vs. Constitutional educationTrump’s self-pardon would clash with his impeachmentUS election spending exceeds GDP of numerous countriesMORE ally who has criticized multiple Republican senators on Twitter.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump taps Conway, Chao to government posts in waning days of administrationPelosi, Schumer hit Trump but cite ‘progress’ in COVID relief talksMcCarthy says he and McConnell back 0 stimulus checksMORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday hes not yet focused on Bidens Cabinet picks.
All the discussion about who may come next to the Cabinet is something Im not prepared to address yet. Weve got two weeks of important business left to do, and thats where Im going to concentrate my time, he said.
During an interview on Fox and Friends Tuesday, Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonBig banks get a big break on pending whistleblower lawFour reasons Donald Trump will likely become a spent forceCivil war between MAGA, GOP establishment could hand Dems total controlMORE (R-Ark.) lambasted Becerra for his policy views and predicted he will be the nations lockdown enforcer.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) noted Becerras dogged defense of the Affordable Care Act.
I dont know much about him except his fight for ObamaCare, and the problem with that is ObamaCare is a big lie. It did the opposite of what its supposed to do. Hes going to keep defending the high cost of health care. We have to figure out how to get more peoples health care at a lower price, Scott said.
But Scott said he hasnt yet thought much about whether Bidens nominees should be guaranteed floor votes, even if they are highly controversial.
I dont think its right, what Schumer did to not allow Trump to fill his administration, he said, alluding to Democrats slow-walking Trumps nominees.
Braun said he thinks Bidens nominees deserve up-or-down votes, despite his strong misgivings about Becerra.
I think anybody should deserve a vote. I wish we would vote on more stuff. I dont mind taking tough votes, he said.    
Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fightMeadows meets with Senate GOP to discuss end-of-year priorities Senate advances energy regulator nominees despite uncertainty of floor voteMORE (R-N.D.) criticized Becerras lack of experience in the health care sector and that hes never held a job dedicated solely to working on health policy.
Thats a concern, he said. Were going to have to look at that one carefully. I think we really expected there would be somebody in there with a health care background.