Wednesday: Senate debates Burwell's nomination to HHS

The Senate starts at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday and around noon it will take a procedural vote to advance the nomination of Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mathews BurwellObama administration takes step to reform Medicare payments Rubio breaks with GOP, backs Obama Zika request Medicare saved 3 billion from cost slowdown, HHS says MORE to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

If cloture is invoked on Burwell's nomination, the Senate will spend the rest of the day debating her merits. Final confirmation is expected Thursday.

Burwell is expected to easily clear the test vote since Democrats need only a simple majority and she was unanimously confirmed for her current position as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The Senate Finance Committee cleared her nomination in a 21-3 vote last month, with only Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and John Thune (R-S.D.) voting against her.

However, some Republicans, such as Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), have said they'll oppose her nomination as a protest against ObamaCare, which she will be responsible for managing once she takes the place of outgoing Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The vote to end debate on Burwell's nomination will come after the Senate votes to confirm three of President Obama's judicial nominees at 11 a.m. Their names and new positions follow:

- Mark Mastroianni to be a U.S. district judge for Massachusetts. 

- Bruce Hendricks to be a U.S. circuit judge for South Carolina.

- Tanya Chutkan to be a U.S. district judge for the District of Columbia.

More in Healthcare

Senate revives fertility treatment bill for vets

Read more »