Antiabortion Sam Brownback Sounds Bullish on Pro-Abortion-Rights Kathleen Sebelius

Abortion opponents are outraged over the health and human services secretary-designate.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

The Brody File notes that adamantly antiabortion Sen. Sam Brownback has released a supportive statement about Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius, a fellow Kansan. Brody wonders whether it gives Sebelius cover as antiabortion groups attack her pro-abortion-rightschoice record. A few excerpts from the statement, which Brownback released jointly with fellow Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, also Republican:

"Congratulations to Governor Sebelius on being nominated to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services," the Senators said. "It's an honor for the State of Kansas to have an elected official appointed to the president's cabinet. We are hopeful Governor Sebelius will be a voice for Kansas and rural America at the Department. We look forward to working with her on issues important to the state including a National Cancer Institute Designation at the University of Kansas Cancer Center."

"We will be able to pick up the phone and talk directly with the secretary about issues that are important to Kansas. We know we can have a strong dialogue with Governor Sebelius on issues we've been working on including fighting Medicare reimbursement cuts to home health care providers and ensuring the hundreds of billions of health care dollars in the stimulus are wisely spent.

"Obviously we will have different viewpoints than the Administration on many issues including health care reform especially given the huge price tag. We have real concerns about the president's budget which includes an additional $634 billion for a health care 'reserve fund' which is made up of tax increases and major cuts to programs critical to Kansas seniors. We look forward to talking with Governor Sebelius about the details of the president's plan."

Silence on abortion. Doesn't seem as if Brownback's exactly gearing up for a nomination battle.