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(Andrew Harnik / AP)

The Senate voted 52-47 to confirm Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services early Friday morning. No Democrats joined Republicans in supporting his nomination.

In the hours leading up to the 1:45 a.m. vote, the two parties seemed to be describing two different candidates. Republicans heaped praise on Price, with Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch declaring him an "exceptional nominee" in a floor speech. Democrats described an ethically questionable candidate who will wreak havoc on the health care system. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer referred to Price's previous support of partially privatizing Medicare:

The war on seniors by the Trump Administration begins when we confirm Rep. Price. — Chuck Schumer

What comes next: Republicans have repeatedly said their Obamacare repeal plans will move forward once Price is confirmed. President Trump has said an Obamacare replacement plan will be put forth at that time. Now, we'll see whether those legislative plans materialize and what Price begins to do to the health care law administratively.

Go deeper

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality, or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

5 hours ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.