Bush Economic Adviser McClellan Tops List To Fill FDA Commissioner Vacancy
Dr. Mark McClellan, a member of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, has "emerged as the leading candidate" to take over as commissioner of the vacant since Bush took office, the Wall Street Journal reports. McClellan, a physician and economist, has been a "loyal champion" of the White House's health care proposals, including its versions of a Medicare prescription drug benefit and discount drug card program. In addition, he does not appear to have any links to the pharmaceutical industry, an issue that some Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee have said would be a concern, the Journal reports. Last year, McClellan won Senate approval for appointment to the President's Council of Economic Advisers -- a three-member panel of academic economists established to give the president "objective advice on policy matters." Most recently, McClellan was a professor of economics and medicine at Stanford University. The FDA position, which requires Senate confirmation, has been filled temporarily by Lester Crawford, director of food and nutrition research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, since February. But the Journal reports that he "lacks the clout of a commissioner with Senate confirmation," which "hobbles" him in dealing with Congress and other government officials. White House officials said that the timing of an announcement about a possible McClellan nomination is "uncertain" (Lueck, Wall Street Journal, 7/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.