“We have not had a confirmed administrator since 2006,” Sen. Tim KaineTim KaineGOP eyes big gamble on ObamaCare Senate Democrats dig in as shutdown approaches Clinton reappears on Capitol Hill for Reid send-off MORE (D-Va.) said ahead of the vote. “It will be a good thing for the mission and the country to confirm an administrator.”

Republican Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzSenate passes dozens of bills on way out of town Senate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown MORE (Texas), Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonOvernight Regulation: Obama's reg czar under pressure | Fight looms over Trump EPA pick Obama's regulatory czar under pressure to cutoff 'midnight rules' Week ahead: GOP quickly laying groundwork for reg rollback MORE (Wis.), Mike LeeMike LeeSenate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk Overnight Healthcare: Medical cures bill finally heads to White House Overnight Energy: Trump taps EPA foe to head agency | Energy reform bill officially dead MORE (Utah), Mike CrapoMike CrapoDodd-Frank ripe for reform, not repeal Ryan lights Capitol Christmas tree Ex-Im faces new problems with Trump MORE (Idaho), James Risch (Idaho), Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSchumer calls for Senate probe into Russian interference Senate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown MORE and Rand PaulRand PaulTrump stumps for Louisiana Senate candidate ahead of runoff Giuliani won't serve in Trump administration Will justice in America be Trumped? MORE (Ky.) voted against Tavenner's nominations.

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Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa) had placed a hold on her nomination out of frustration with the administration’s plan to spend prevention funds on promotions for the Affordable Care Act. He lifted the hold earlier this month after he said enough light had been shined on the issue.

CMS administers the Medicare and Medicaid programs and is also charged with implementing most of Obama's healthcare law. Tavenner has been leading CMS on an acting basis.

Kaine said Tavenner, who is from Virginia, was the right pick because she would bring a patient-focused “nurse’s attitude” to CMS and she is an “expert” on finding healthcare cost savings.

Before the vote on Tavenner, the Senate also voted to approve the nomination of William Orrick to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California. He was confirmed on a 56-41 vote.

Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerSenate clears water bill with Flint aid, drought relief Senate Dem blocks own bill over California drought language House passes water bill with Flint aid, drought relief MORE (D-Calif.) said she was glad Orrick got a vote because the Northern District of California has a judicial emergency with a caseload 24 percent higher than the national average.

“We all know justice delayed is justice denied,” Boxer said. “That’s why I’m excited we’re finally getting a vote on this nominee.”

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyDem senator seeks more time for 'due diligence' on Sessions nomination Senate sets date for hearings on Sessions's attorney general nomination Mnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators MORE (R-Iowa) said he opposed Orrick's nomination because he  didn't like a judicial decision he made that maintained the “weak status quo” of immigration and border enforcement. He added that Orrick didn't answer all of his questions during his confirmation hearing with the Judiciary Committee, where Grassley serves as the ranking member.