US Senate Finance Committee approves Alex Azar's nomination for HHS secretary: 6 things to know

Written by Megan Wood | January 17, 2018 | Print  |

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved Alex Azar's nomination to become the new HHS secretary, Medscape reports.

Here are six things to know:


1. The committee approved his nomination with a 15 to 12 vote.


2. Mr. Azar's nomination will now move to the Senate floor for a full vote.


3. The Senate is expected to confirm Mr. Azar's appointment, despite many Democrats voting against him. Mr. Azar requires 51 votes for confirmation, and Republicans have a 51 to 49 majority.


4. President Donald Trump nominated Mr. Azar for HHS secretary in November 2017, following the resignation of Tom Price, MD, in September 2017. Dr. Price resigned during an inspector general investigation into his private plane use for government business trips. The new HHS secretary will replace Acting Secretary Don Wright, MD.


5. Mr. Azar was the HHS' general counsel and then deputy secretary under the George W. Bush administration.


6. He previously served as an executive for Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company. During two Senate hearings, Democrats questioned the nominee's commitment to reducing drug prices. He replied he would focus on lowering drug prices.


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