SURGEON GENERAL: Satcher Opponents Appear To Lack Votes
The nomination of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. David Satcher to be surgeon general appears on track for approval next week, Congress Daily/A.M. reports. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) "Thursday filed a cloture motion to seek to bring to an end debate on the confirmation." Under Lott's motion, the Senate will hold six hours of debate Monday, with a final vote scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday. "Both Democratic and Republican sources" told Congress Daily/A.M. that Satcher has the requisite 60 votes needed to end the filibuster led by Sen. John Ashcroft (R-MO). Ashcroft is objecting to Satcher's views on late-term abortions and to a CDC AIDS study in Africa that was conducted while Satcher headed the agency (2/6). The Washington Times reports that in "another development yesterday, Mr. Ashcroft released internal government documents that indicate the CDC," under Satcher, "advocated repealing a ban on federal funding of needle-exchange programs" to stop the spread of HIV. Ashcroft "found the documents compelling, given that Dr. Satcher has 'tried to distance himself from needle-exchange programs,'" according to Ashcroft spokesperson Steve Hilton (Price, 2/6). The Washington Post reports that Satcher has "picked up the support of" Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Hatch praised Satcher's leadership at the CDC and said the nominee has "'an agenda for America that all of us should support,' such as support for sexual abstinence and anti-smoking programs for young people" (Dewar, 2/6).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.