Gov. Tommy Thompson received unanimous approval as secretary of health and human services from the U. S. Senate Wednesday.
White House spokesperson Scott Stanzel said Thompson would be a \capable and dynamic"" Cabinet member for President Bush.
""President Bush has selected Gov. Thompson to lead the Department of Health and Human Services because of his public record and his experience,"" Stanzel said. ""He would bring a wealth of knowledge to the department.""
Thompson's experiences in Wisconsin would be especially valuable in ""taking the next step of welfare reform, enabling and calling up the armies of compassion throughout the country,"" Stanzel added.
Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., however, had expressed doubts at Thompson's confirmation hearings about the success of welfare reform in Wisconsin.
""Sen. Wellstone had differences with Secretary Thompson on welfare reform issues, in particular whether or not welfare reform was a success,"" said Wellstone press secretary Allison Dobson. ""He believed he did want to vote for him despite those differences.""
According to Stanzel, Thompson's early initiatives in his new job will include explorations of ""public-private partnerships in delivering services"" and a review of the Food and Drug Administration's approval of the abortion pill RU-486.
President Bush plans to ""take a look at all executive orders taken at the end of the previous administration,"" Stanzel said, and the review of RU-486 ""falls into those lines.""
In a brief statement, Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., also said he was happy to see Thompson's ""innovative leadership"" in the Cabinet.
""I look forward to working with him on a wide range of issues, including long-term care, Social Security and Medicare reform,"" he said.
Feingold also said he was ""glad to have another Wisconsinite bringing a Wisconsin perspective to national issues.\