8 things to know about Biden's picks for HHS secretary, assistant secretary

President Joe Biden picked Xavier Becerra and Rachel Levine, MD, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Both candidates have to be confirmed by the Senate, but each has historical elements tied to their potential tenures. 

Here are four things to know about Mr. Becerra, President Biden's pick to lead HHS: 

1. Mr. Becerra would be the first Latino to lead HHS. 

2. He is the attorney general of California and most recently was tasked with defending the ACA in the Supreme Court. 

3. Mr. Becerra also served 13 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, first being elected in 1993 and serving until 2019. He was chair of the Democratic Caucus from 2013-17. 

4. He has several other notable moments in his political career, including being the first Latino to sit on the House Ways and Means Committee and the second Hispanic American to chair the caucus. 

Here are four things to know about Dr. Levine, President Biden's pick for assistant health secretary: 

1. Dr. Levine, a pediatrician, would be the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate, The Washington Post reported Jan. 19.  

2. She served as Pennsylvania's secretary of health and physician general prior to her potential appointment, and has received much acclaim for leading the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Dr. Levine was confirmed three times to serve in the positions.

4. Before serving the state, she was a physician at Penn State Milton S. Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center and also served on the board of Equality Pennsylvania, an LGBTQ rights group.

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