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AP file photo

Scott Gottlieb is on his way to becoming the next Food and Drug Administration commissioner. The Senate confirmed him this afternoon on a 57-42 vote, over objections from Democrats that Gottlieb has too many conflicts of interest because of his past work as a drug industry consultant. The Dems didn't push it too hard, though — they didn't force the Senate to use all 30 hours of debate time following yesterday's procedural vote.

The floor debate in two quotes:

  • "I believe Dr. Gottlieb's background in understanding how drugs are manufactured, how they can be manufactured safely, how they can be moved through the regulatory and investment process more rapidly is vitally important to the opportunity ... of finding these new medical miracles." — Senate HELP Committee chairman Lamar Alexander
  • "He has not convinced me that he will withstand political pressure from this administration." — Democratic Sen. Patty Murray

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump leaves White House for the final time

President Trump took off on Marine One at 8:17 a.m on Wednesday morning, departing the White House for the last time, en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours will be marked by snubbing his successor and granting pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has left the White House en route to a farewell event at Andrews Air Force Base, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.