Washington, Nov 20 : Tom Daschle, former Senate Majority Leader, has accepted President-elect Barack Obama's offer to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, according to Domocrat officials.
CBS News reported that the officials on Capitol Hill and close to the transition confirmed the selection.
The appointment has not been officially announced, but these officials say the job is Daschle's barring an unforeseen problem as Obama's team reviews the background of the South Dakota Democrat.
One area of review will include the lobbying connections of his wife, Linda Hall Daschle, who has done representation mostly on behalf of airline-related companies over the years.
Daschle, a close adviser to Obama throughout his White House campaign, recently wrote a book on his proposals to improve health care, and is working with former Senate leaders on recommendations to improve the system.
"Daschle was an early and prominent supporter of the president-elect and is very likely to play a role in his administration," said CBSNews.com senior political editor Vaughn Ververs.
Organizations seeking to expand health coverage were quick to praise the selection.
"Daschle has a deep commitment to securing high-quality, affordable health care for everyone in our nation. His new leadership position confirms that the incoming Obama administration has made health care reform a top and early priority for action in 2009," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA.
After losing re-election to the Senate in 2004, Daschle became a public policy adviser and member of the legislative and public policy group at the law and lobbying firm Alston and Bird.
Daschle's wife was acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in the Clinton administration. She is one of Washington's top lobbyists. Her lobbying clients over the past year included American Airlines, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, Senate lobbying records show.
Daschle is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank run by top Obama transition adviser and former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta.