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 AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain 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 WhitehouseLobbying world Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law Christine Blasey Ford's lawyers blast FBI's Kavanaugh investigation as 'sham' MORE (R.I.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetLawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals How Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform For true American prosperity, make the child tax credit permanent 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.