January 17, 2018 / 7:49 PM / 2 months ago

Key U.S. Senate committee advances Azar nomination for HHS secretary

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - A key Senate committee on Wednesday voted to advance the nomination of Alex Azar, a former drug industry executive and lobbyist whom President Donald Trump has tapped to be the next secretary of Health and Human Services.

The Senate Finance Committee voted 15-12 to advance Azar’s nomination with all but one Democrat opposing. To receive final confirmation Azar will have to receive a majority vote in the 100-seat Senate, which Republicans control with 51 seats.

Azar will be charged with overseeing the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act, former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement commonly called Obamacare, and its response to the opioid epidemic, among a slew of other issues. (Reporting By Yasmeen Abutaleb Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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