Conservatives are angling for a bigger fight over Sylvia Mathews Burwell's nomination for Health and Human Services secretary.
Burwell has attracted some bipartisan support already and has breezed through two confirmation hearings. But Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz — who spearheaded the anti-Obamacare campaign that led to a government shutdown last year — said Friday that the Senate should delay a confirmation vote until Burwell answers more questions about the Affordable Care Act.
In a letter to Burwell, Lee and Cruz sought more information about Obamacare enrollment figures and the administration's approach to implementing the law. They said Burwell has been "less than forthcoming" in her confirmation hearings and questioned whether she would cooperate with congressional oversight if confirmed.
"The questions we propose in the letter have not only been asked repeatedly, but deal with issues she should have been prepared to answer at her hearings but did not," Lee said in a statement. "We are therefore going to attempt one more time to get answers to these simple questions and the Senate should not move forward on her nomination until we get them."
Some conservatives have grown frustrated with Burwell's confirmation process. At least three Republican senators have endorsed Burwell, and her nomination has not become a broader referendum on Obamacare.