WASHINGTON, June 4 The U.S. Senate on Wednesday
cleared the way for lawmakers to decide on Thursday whether to
confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell as President Barack Obama's new
Senators voted 67-28 to approve a procedural measure limiting
debate on Burwell's nomination to no more than 30 hours,
allowing a final confirmation vote to move forward sometime on
Thursday. Senate approval is widely expected.
A confirmation vote allowing Burwell to take over
implementation of Obamacare from departing U.S. Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could help open a new
chapter for Obama's healthcare law just five months before
November's midterm congressional elections.
After last year's botched rollout of the Obamacare website
Healthcare.gov, Republicans made the Affordable Care Act a top
issue in their campaign to take control of the U.S. Senate.
Burwell, a skilled technocrat who is widely respected by
both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, had been serving as
Obama's budget director. She is expected to keep the healthcare
law out of troubled waters between now and Election Day,
according to Democrats.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Susan