Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released a statement Thursday concerning the nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Sebelius was officially announced as President Barack Obama's nominee to head Health and Human Services on March 2.

Back in 2002, Sebelius defeated Republican Tim Shallenburger to become the second female governor in Kansas state history. She then defeated Republican Senator Jim Barnett in 2006 to win re-election.

Prior to her time as governor, Sebelius served in the House of Representatives from 1986 to 1994. She then left the House to run for state insurance commissioner, becoming the first Democrat to win the position in over ten years.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services has a great deal of power, Baucus said in his statement Thursday.

And the Secretary of HHS has a great deal of responsibility. Governor Sebelius, you have before you a great opportunity for leadership.

Baucus said he wanted to thank Sebelius for her service to the country, and said she comes to the position with a great reputation as a smart, pragmatic, and thoughtful leader.

He called her a dedicated public servant who can overcome partisanship and bring together personalities from all perspectives, and said he looked forward to working with her.

And so, Baucus continued, Governor Sebelius, here's hoping that you will not be burdened by your new powers, but will enjoy them. Here's hoping that you will not be trapped by your HHS responsibilities, but will be made free by them. And as Secretary of HHS, here's hoping that you will make the most of your opportunity for leadership.

For comments and feedback: contact