FDA: Senate Committee Clears Henney’s Nomination
The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee yesterday approved the nomination of Dr. Jane Henney to head the Food and Drug Administration, quelling concerns that the committee would delay her approval until the 106th Congress. CongressDaily reports that the approval considerably brightens Henney's prospects to be confirmed by the full Senate. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) cast the only opposing vote, after he "tangled with the former FDA deputy commissioner and current University of New Mexico health sciences vice president during her confirmation hearing three weeks ago." Enzi took issue with Henney over the FDA's preliminary approval of the abortion drug RU-486 and cited "'a philosophical difference' over RU-486" with her as explanation for his dissenting vote (CongressDaily, 9/23). However, Enzi acknowledged that he found Henney "an experienced and qualified candidate" and said he "wouldn't hold up her nomination" on the Senate floor, despite his opposition to her abortion position (Wall Street Journal, 9/24). While deputy commissioner at FDA, colleagues say Henney's "mantra" was "[b]etter science." Former Health and Human Services official Edward Brandt, who served with Henney as chair of the FDA advisory panel that approved the controversial bovine growth hormone BST, noted that Henney said, "'Your job is to deal with the science,' and let FDA deal with the political fallout." A date has not yet been set for a full Senate vote on the nomination (AP/Boston Globe, 9/24).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.