Senate-Sebelius Q&A published online

The Senate Finance Committee has posted a 137-page document containing all of the written questions its members had for Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius along with her responses.

The extensive Q&A, published here, touches on a wide range of subjects from health reform to micro issues at agencies across the department. Of particular note are questions from committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and other Republicans about the abortion views of Sebelius, who is the Democratic governor of Kansas.

Anti-abortion-rights groups have been campaigning against Sebelius's confirmation and are peeved that GOP senators did not raise the issue during her Finance Committee hearing last Thursday or her Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing last Tuesday. Grassley's office released his 78 questions for Sebelius earlier this week.

Curiously, Grassley and Finance Committee Chairman Max Caucus (D-Mont.) were the only committee members who asked Sebelius to explain why she had to pay more than $7,000 in back taxes during the time she was being vetted for the Cabinet post, which made her another in a long line of Obama appointees with tax issues.

Baucus tried to get the panel to vote on Sebelius and send her nomination to the full Senate immediately after her hearing but Republicans protested, saying they wanted to see her answers to their written questions before proceeding.

--Jeffrey Young