Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) echoed his support for Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius even while some Republicans proved more cautious. Baucus, who said he had learned about errant tax filings made by the HHS secretary designate before Tuesday, called the mistakes minimal, adding that they shouldnt disqualify her for the nations top healthcare post.
Sebelius and her husband, Gary, a federal magistrate judge in Kansas, paid $7,040 in back taxes and $878 in interest on a handful of charitable donations, a home loan and other business expenses from 2005 through 2007. Sebelius said in a letter sent to committee leaders that the couple had immediately corrected the mistakes, which were discovered by an accountant hired to review their taxes in preparation for her nomination as HHS secretary.
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said he would question Sebelius about the tax issues on Thursday during her official nomination hearing to determine whether or not they were honest mistakes. Thats really the threshold I look for, Ensign said. Our tax code is so complex that anybody could have tax problems. However, some of the people in the past should have known about them.