Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius confirmation to the countrys top healthcare post will have to wait until at least mid- to late April, or perhaps longer, to become official.
Separately, the governor has been asked to divest four stock holdings, some of which could pose a conflict with her duties as HHS secretary if confirmed, an administration spokeswoman said.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said Thursday afternoon that a stay had been put on the Sebelius confirmation, which had been expected to occur later in the day. The stay came about because Senate Republicans wanted more time to review the nomination.
Baucus, who earlier in the day had chaired the governors confirmation hearing, called the delay unfortunate.
The administration needs its people in place, he said. Shes going to get confirmed, and I wish we could get her confirmed today.
Baucus said that the vote would have to wait until after the regularly scheduled, two-week spring recess, which starts April 6.
Meantime, Sebelius has been advised by an ethics panel to divest her holdings in a number of stocks. Those stocks include Fidelity Advisor Energy Fund, Kronos Worldwide, NL Industries and Westar Energy.
NL and Kronos make titanium dioxide, which is used in FDA-regulated products such as makeup and sunscreen. HHS also oversees the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which is why the governor has been asked to divest in the energy funds.
An administration spokeswoman said that Sebelius and her husband would divest their interests in those funds within 90 days of her confirmation.
Earlier this week, Sebelius and her husband, Gary, a federal magistrate judge in Kansas, alerted members of Congress this week that they had paid about $8,000 in back taxes and interest over mistakes made on tax filings from 2005 to 2007.