Sen. Tim Scott may be 'no' vote on Burwell

A Republican senator on Sunday suggested he could oppose the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell for federal Health secretary despite supporting her nomination for White House budget director.

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The comments from Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) signal what is likely to be a more divided confirmation vote for Burwell when Congress returns from recess.

While Democrats have the necessary votes to confirm Burwell, Scott suggested that Republicans may treat the vote as a chance to voice their opposition to the healthcare law.

Burwell, a former Gates Foundation official, was confirmed last year as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by a rare vote of 96-0.

But support for Burwell as head of the OMB "doesn't necessarily make her a good choice for HHS," Scott told "Fox News Sunday."

"When you look at the upcoming confirmation hearing, will the next secretary [put] Americans first? Or will they have ... carrying water for the president as their primary responsibility?" he asked.

President Obama nominated Burwell to replace outgoing Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday.

Sebelius presided over the HHS for the first six years of the Obama administration, including the troubled rollout of the exchanges last fall.

Scott said there was "no doubt" Sebelius would have had to go at some point.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), another "Fox News Sunday" guest, praised Sebelius's service and said Democrats would draw attention to people benefiting from the healthcare law.

"There is a chance here to tell the real human stories, not just the political attack ad lines," said Whitehouse.