President Trump’s nominee to lead the FDA, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, won approval last week in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on a largely party-line vote. The committee vote was 14-9. Only Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) broke ranks with panel Democrats and backed Gottlieb’s confirmation. The next step is a vote by the full Senate next week.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats called on Gottlieb to overturn President Trump’s government-wide hiring freeze, which they say is particularly harming the FDA, and work to implement filling the new positions authorized in last year’s 21st Century Cures medical innovation legislation.