Tom Daschle Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of Health and Human ServicesFor the Obama Adminstration January 8, 2009
KENNEDY: We have a wonderful turnout of the members of the committee, andwe have an extraordinary panel here that has had an incredible life andcommitment to health and human services, and we are just delighted that they'rehere.
We'll look forward to what their statement or testimony, and thenwe'll -- we'll proceed with Senator -- our senators right after that.So we will recognize Senator Dole first.
(UNKNOWN): We're going to ask Senator Johnson to go first, if that's OK.KENNEDY: Fine. That's -- that's -- they're starting with their strong man. Here we-- here we go, and the Johnson...JOHNSON: Thank you, Senator. Good call.KENNEDY: Always good to hear you, and we're very, very appreciative of your presence here and your excellent work in the Senate. Thank you.JOHNSON: I'm still uncertain, so...Chairman Kennedy, Senator Enzi and members of the committee, I'm so pleased tointroduce my good friend and former colleague, Tom Daschle, as the HealthCommittee considers his nomination for secretary of Health and Human Services.I've watched and admired Tom's career in public service for many years. Iremember his first campaign for Congress in 1978, the same year as my first runfor the (inaudible) legislature.During the past 22 years, Tom has become one of my closest friends and in myworld as his deep dedication to service, relentless work ethic and unendingcommitment to serving the people of our home state and our nation. Now Tom has been called upon to return to public service as secretary of Healthand Human Services. I know -- known our country will be a better place becauseTom chose to answer that call.His passion for ensuring that all Americans have access to quality health care issecond to none. With Tom's unique understanding of the many problems plaguing