"The Finance Committee has been vetting Senator Daschle’s nomination to serve as HHS Secretary. Today, staff briefed Senators on tax return information submitted by Senator Daschle, and their analysis of it. This briefing and discussion were helpful.
Senator Daschle made mistakes on his taxes. They were disappointing mistakes. But it’s clear that they were not purposeful mistakes. Today’s discussion made clear: in some cases, Senator Daschle’s employer did not even
provide appropriate forms and information to him. Had he possessed this information, I am confident his tax returns would have been more accurate. He has taken steps to remedy these mistakes.
Tom Daschle remains eminently qualified to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services. He and I have talked a lot since his nomination. We’ve talked about the need for overall health reform. And I know he will be a great partner in that effort.
His tax mistakes are regrettable. But his tax mistakes do not change his qualifications to lead on health care reform. They do not change my support for his nomination.
Senator Daschle will have a confirmation hearing next week. Senators will ask tough questions. I will ask tough questions. But I will vote for Senator Daschle in committee, and on the Senate floor. He merits my support to lead H.H.S.”
The hearings might be rather bombastic, indeed. Yet, it looks like Mr. Daschle has come to Washington, and that you can indeed come home again. He may be in a full mental body cast for another week or so, but it looks like he's coming up a bruised, but certain, winner . . . barring, of course, the discovery of a few hundred illegal immigrants huddled in his basement. Just sayin'