Former Sen. Thomas Daschle has agreed to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to news reports.

Daschle, who represented South Dakota, was Democratic minority leader when he lost a bid for reelection in 2004. He has been a close advisor to President-elect Barack Obama during Obama’s run for president.

The Daschle nomination would be subject to Senate confirmation.

News of the nomination offer was first reported by Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill.

The Obama transition team has listed Daschle on its Web site as a member of the Obama health care policy working group.

Daschle is the co-author, with Scott Greenberger and Jeanne Lambrew, of a recent book, Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.