Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement after the Senate confirmed Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. The nomination was approved by a vote of 65-31.

“Secretary Sebelius will face big challenges the minute she walks in the door. As the current flu outbreak reminds us, our nation’s top health official not only faces the essential task of reforming health care, but also the daily work of safeguarding the health of our country in a globally-connected world.

“Secretary Sebelius is a skilled executive with the experience to handle this great responsibility.  She has a history of fighting for working families and a track record of results.

“I look forward to working with Secretary Sebelius to ensure we focus on growing our health care workforce and ensuring Washington state residents can access care in their communities.  With state health care benefits being cut, it’s critical that we get to work on a national health care reform plan that meets all of our needs.  There is no more important task for our people, economy, and long-term national priorities.”