Sessions: Sebelius Has Never Testified Before Budget Committee Despite Health Spending Comprising Nearly 1/3 Of Fed. Budget

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, released a letter today sent to Chairman Patty Murray asking that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius be invited to appear before the Committee.

The text of Sessions’ letter follows:

"Dear Chairman Murray:

At the end of our hearing with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sylvia Burwell, on the President’s FY2015 budget submission, I asked about inviting Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to appear before our committee to discuss matters under her Department’s purview. You may recall Director Burwell suggested during Q & A that Senators ask Secretary Sebelius for additional information pertaining to the health care system.

The Senate Budget Committee is long overdue for a hearing with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Secretary Sebelius has never once testified before the Budget Committee on either the President’s budget or the President’s health care law. The Department of Health and Human Services is projected to spend over $1 trillion in FY2015 under the President’s budget, and health care costs—which today comprise nearly 30 percent of all federal spending—are growing more rapidly than other areas of the budget, especially over the long-term.

It would be good for members of the Committee to discuss these matters with Secretary Sebelius. I urge you to find time for a hearing with the Secretary of Health and Human Services as you plan our schedule for the next work period. 

Very truly yours,

Jeff Sessions
Ranking Member"