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 AlexanderChildren’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Schumer calls for attaching ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance 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 WhitehouseDem senator: 'How many lives must be lost before we act?' Sen. Manchin won’t vote for Trump’s mine safety nominee Overnight Regulation: SEC chief grilled over hack | Dems urge Labor chief to keep Obama overtime rule | Russia threatens Facebook over data storage law MORE (R.I.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetAmeriCorps hurricane heroes deserve a reward — don’t tax it Joe Buck defends 'nonviolent protests' at NFL games Patriotism is no defense for Trump’s attacks on black athletes 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.