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SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES ALEX AZAR TO HEAD HHS

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted 15-12 to approve the nomination of Alex Azar to be the next Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Jan. 17.

Only one Democrat, Tom Carper of Delaware, assented to Azar’s nomination, joining the panel’s Republicans. The committee vote sets up a vote in the full Senate.

Although several Senate Democrats have indicated they will vote against Azar, it is still likely that he will be confirmed. Two Democrats ― Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Joe Manchin (WV) ― have said they will support Azar. Nominees for cabinet positions require only 51 votes to be confirmed ― and Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Azar, a former executive for the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, was nominated to lead HHS by President Donald J. Trump in November 2017. He was the department’s general counsel from 2001 to 2005 and its deputy secretary from 2005 to 2007 during the George W. Bush administration. VTN

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Larry Storer

Larry Storer

Larry Storer has been editor of Vein Therapy News for 10 years. He has edited computer, shelter and medical publications at Publications & Communications LP for 30 years. He was also a corporate vice president and editorial director. before retiring. Larry graduated from Baylor University with a BA in journalism and a MA in communications; and from Lamar University with a MEd in school administration. He taught beginning and advanced reporting, beginning and advanced editing and editorial writing at Baylor University. Larry was a reporter, and city and news editor of the Beaumont Journal, and opinion editor at the Beaumont Enterprise and Beaumont Enterprise-Journal. He was also the founding managing editor of the Yuba City (California) Daily Independent-Herald.