Delay Expected for Senate Vote on Nomination of Lester Crawford as FDA Commissioner
A vote tentatively scheduled for Wednesday on the nomination of FDA Acting Commissioner Lester Crawford as permanent head of the agency likely will be delayed until the HHS Office of Inspector General completes an investigation into certain allegations, aides for Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said Monday, CQ Today reports (Schuler, CQ Today, 5/9).
Enzi last month said that he had received a letter from an anonymous FDA employee that included allegations about Crawford. According to congressional staff members, the letter included claims about a personal relationship between Crawford and a senior female FDA staff member and raised questions about promotions that the woman received.
Enzi did not provide additional details about the allegations but said that the letter is poorly spelled and poorly written and that he thinks the allegations are false. Enzi had referred the investigation of the claims to the FDA Office of Internal Affairs, but OIG later assumed the responsibility (California Healthline, 4/18).
According to CQ Today, Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) "also could play a big role in Crawford's fate," as they have said they will block the nomination on the Senate floor until FDA makes a decision on whether to approve over-the-counter sales of the emergency contraceptive Plan B (CQ Today, 5/9).