Trump's FDA nominee approved by Senate panel

Trump's FDA nominee approved by Senate panel
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE's nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared a key Senate panel Tuesday with bipartisan support. 

If confirmed by the full Senate, cancer doctor and researcher Stephen Hahn would join the FDA at a challenging time: The agency is facing pressure from all sides on how to curb youth vaping rates, with some pushing for a ban on flavored e-cigarette products. 

Hahn, the chief medical officer of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, hasn't weighed in on specific proposals but has called teen e-cigarette use concerning. 


The Senate health committee approved Hahn's nomination 18-5, with top Democrat Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayWorking together to effectively address patient identification during COVID-19 Plaintiff and defendant from Obergefell v. Hodges unite to oppose Barrett's confirmation Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (Wash.) voting 'no.' 

"I'm just not convinced Dr. Hahn is the right pick for the job," Murray said Tuesday. 

"I was particularly concerned that when pressed several times by members on both sides of the aisle, Dr. Hahn refused to commit to implementing a strong policy to clear nontobacco-flavored e-cigarettes that have not undergone FDA review from the market," Murray said. 

President Trump appears to have backed away from his September promise to clear the market of those products.

When asked about that proposal during his November confirmation hearing, Hahn wouldn't comment on specifics, saying he would use "science and data" to tackle youth vaping rates. 

Still, Hahn gained the support of all Republicans and some Democrats, including Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineHarris more often the target of online misinformation than Pence: report Democrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  MORE (D-Va.) and Doug Jones (D-La.)