AP NEWS
Click to copy
Click to copy

Senate panel advances Trump health secretary pick

January 17, 2018
FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2018, file photo, Alex Azar testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. A Senate committee has signed off on Azar, President Donald Trump's pick for health secretary, clearing the way for final confirmation by the full Senate. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2018, file photo, Alex Azar testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. A Senate committee has signed off on Azar, President Donald Trump's pick for health secretary, clearing the way for final confirmation by the full Senate. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee has signed off on President Donald Trump’s pick for health secretary, clearing the way for final confirmation of Alex Azar.

The Finance Committee voted 15-12 on Wednesday to send Azar’s nomination to the full Senate.

Although the panel’s vote was largely along party lines, Azar’s confirmation hearings weren’t nearly as contentious as the deliberations over his predecessor, Tom Price.

One Democrat, Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware joined majority Republicans to advance Azar’s nomination.

Azar, 50, is an Ivy League lawyer and a former drug company and government executive.

As the new secretary of Health and Human Services, Azar would head a $1 trillion department with 80,000 employees.

He’s promised to make the high cost of prescription drugs his top priority.

No floor vote has been scheduled.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.