Legislative Alert | Workplace Health and Safety

Letter Supporting Nomination of Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services

United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I urge you to vote in support of Xavier Becerra’s nomination to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Throughout his distinguished career of public service, he successfully protected the health security of working people as an influential member of Congress and as the attorney general of California.

During his 24-year career in the U.S. House of Representatives, Becerra used his position on the Ways and Means Committee to defend against legislation that would inflict substantial cuts to the Medicare program. He helped design and pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and pushed to ensure that all working families have access to health care coverage so we can reduce the chronic health disparities faced by communities of color.

As the California Attorney General, Becerra led a coalition of 20 states in defending the ACA and protecting the health care of more than 20 million Americans – culminating in last year’s arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. He worked with a bipartisan group of states’ attorneys general to hold opioid manufacturers accountable for their role in facilitating the misuse of those drugs, securing $1.6 billion for treatment services. He took on a major health care system that consolidated hospitals and used the monopoly to increase prices for consumers, winning a major settlement for Californians. During the coronavirus pandemic, he called upon the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt an emergency temporary standard to protect frontline workers. Time and again, under Becerra’s management, the state Department of Justice took action to protect the health and health care of Californians and working people across the nation.

This represents just a small set of examples of Xavier Becerra’s capacity to lead a large, complex agency and his commitment to pursue policies that preserve the health of working people. He is eminently qualified to serve as HHS Secretary, and we hope that you will support his nomination.

William Samuel
Director, Government Affairs