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