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Trump's FDA nominee clears key Senate committee

Trump's FDA nominee clears key Senate committee
© Greg Nash

President Trump's nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared a key Senate hurdle Thursday, putting him on track for a full Senate confirmation vote.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced Scott Gottlieb's nomination for FDA commissioner to the Senate floor on a 14-9 vote.

Committee chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care: Trump health chief backs CDC research on gun violence | GOP negotiators meet on ObamaCare market fix | Groups sue over cuts to teen pregnancy program GOP negotiators meet on ObamaCare market fix 30 million people will experience eating disorders — the CDC needs to help MORE (R-Tenn.) lauded Gottlieb for his experience and dismissed concerns from some Democrats over any potential conflicts of interest from Gottlieb's ties to health companies.

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Two Democrats joined the Republicans in voting for his nomination — Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseCommittee chairman aims for House vote on opioid bills by Memorial Day Regulators seek to remove barriers to electric grid storage Prison sentencing bill advances over Sessions objections MORE (R.I.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetColorado senators pitch immigration compromise Colorado senators mark Olympics with Senate hallway curling GOP Senate candidate fundraising lags behind Dems in key races MORE (Colo.).

Gottlieb is a former FDA director of medical policy development and deputy commissioner, and the bipartisan HELP Committee vote is a sign he could be easily confirmed by the Senate. No date has been set for the full floor vote.