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Capitol Correspondence - 01.21.18

Senate Committee Advances Alex Azar Nomination for HHS Secretary to the Floor

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The Senate Finance Committee, which oversees Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) nominations, has voted to allow Alex Azar’s nomination for HHS Secretary to advance for a general Senate floor vote. The 15-12  vote occurred largely along party lines, with the exception of Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) joining in support of Mr. Azar. This is the last step in the nomination process before Mr. Azar can officially take office – his nomination is expected to have enough votes to pass the Senate.

According to Politico Pro:

“The full Senate vote has not yet been scheduled, but multiple people close to the process said Republicans are hoping to confirm Azar by the end of the month. At least three Senate Democrats, including Carper, have indicated they will join Republicans in supporting Azar during the final floor vote.

“By any objective account, Mr. Azar is very well qualified for this important position,” Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said.

If confirmed, Azar will lead the administration’s efforts to scale back the 2010 Affordable Care Act through regulation amid stalled repeal efforts on the Hill. He’s also promised to take on rising drug prices, saying he’ll rely on his experience as an Eli Lilly executive to reform the system.”