Sanders vows to 'vigorously' oppose Trump's health nominee

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBoogeywomen — GOP vilifies big-name female Dems RealClearPolitics editor: Moderate Democrats are losing even when they win Sanders tests his brand in Florida MORE (I-Vt.) said Monday that he would oppose President Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, denouncing his ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

The nominee, Alex Azar, is a former executive at the drug company Eli Lilly and also served in the Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush.

“At a time when the United States pays, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, the last thing we need is to put a pharmaceutical executive in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services,” Sanders said in a statement.

Sanders said the nomination shows Trump is not living up to his attacks on the pharmaceutical industry and stated desire to bring down prices.

The former presidential candidate said the nomination shows Trump was “never serious about his promise to stop the pharmaceutical industry from ‘getting away with murder.’”

“We need an HHS secretary who is willing to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drug prices, not one who has financially benefitted from this greed,” Sanders said. “I will vigorously oppose this nomination.”

Sanders is one of the most outspoken members of the Democratic caucus against high drug prices and the pharmaceutical industry.

Other Senate Democrats have so far taken a more restrained approach. Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTo make the House of Representatives work again, make it bigger Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' MORE (N.Y.), for example, did not take a position on Azar in a statement and said he wants to review the nomination.