Senators Block Confirmation of FDA Commissioner Over EC
In a repeat of last spring's battle over the confirmation of the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) have announced that they will block the confirmation of Andrew von Eschenbach until the FDA rules on making the emergency contraceptive Plan B available over-the-counter. Last spring, they announced a similar hold on the nomination of Lester Crawford, which they lifted when the Secretary of Health and Human Services promised a decision by September 1, 2005. In a shocking turnaround, the FDA announced another delay on Plan B following Crawford’s confirmation. Soon afterwards, Crawford resigned, and von Eschenbach has been acting as interim commissioner.
Now, von Eschenbach faces a confirmation battle of his own, as Clinton and Murray have restated their demands, and seem to be taking a harder line. On National Public Radio, Murray said, “This time around, we are being very firm. The FDA needs to follow its own rules and make a decision, yes or no, on Plan B. And their credibility is at stake. We will hold up this nomination until that decision is made.” Testifying before Congress a month ago, von Eschenbach stated that science, not politics, would be the deciding factor in approving nonprescription sales of Plan B, but did not provide a timetable for an FDA decision.
9/22/2014 Climate Change Activists Take Over Manhattan to Demand Action - An estimated 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan over the weekend to demand world leaders take action on climate change.
The People's Climate March, which some are calling the single largest call for climate action ever, took place ahead of Tuesday's emergency UN Climate Summit.
Joining the march were several labor unions, former Vice President Al Gore, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton. . . .