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 AlexanderCongress needs to wake up to nuclear security threat Blackburn keeps Tennessee seat in GOP hands  Overnight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Judge urges insurers to drop challenge over non-ObamaCare plans | Azar vows to push ahead with drug pricing proposal | No increase for ObamaCare outreach budget 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 WhitehouseSenators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill 3 ways House Dems can fight climate change when sweeping policy is off the table Hillicon Valley: Trump eyes staff shake-up | Amazon taps NYC, Northern Virginia for new offices | What it will mean for DC | Tech firms buck Trump on cyber pact | Defense official warns against hacking back MORE (R.I.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetEagles player sits out national anthem Trump administration denied it has ‘secret’ committee seeking negative information on marijuana: report Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens 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.