Sen.

(R-Maine) announced Thursday that she will support

’s nomination to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

Collins said she decided to vote to confirm Becerra after several conversations with him on a range of issues, including lowering prescription drug costs and expanding health care access to rural areas across the country. She is the first Republican to come out in support of his confirmation. 

“During our one-on-one meeting, and in three subsequent conversations, Mr. Becerra and I discussed several shared goals that I hope we can accomplish in the Biden Administration. They include lowering the price of prescription drugs for patients and reducing our dependence on foreign countries for drug manufacturing," she said in a statement. "I also urged Mr. Becerra to support additional funding for health care providers during the pandemic, particularly in rural areas."

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