WASHINGTON--David Satcher, MD, PhD, won confirmation as US Surgeon General by a 63 to 35 vote after 75 members of the Senate voted to end a filibuster led by Sen. John D. Ashcroft (R-Mo).
Dr. Satcher, who had served as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since November 1993, will fill the key health post, which has been vacant since Joycelyn Elders, MD, resigned under pressure 3 years ago.
President Clinton hailed the bipartisan vote for Dr. Satcher, whom he described as "a mainstream physician who is an eloquent advocate for the health of all Americans." Dr. Satcher will also serve as assistant secretary for health, Department of Health and Human Services.
Strong support existed for Dr. Satchers nomination in the Senate and from many medical, health profession, and advocacy groups. However, his confirmation had been fought since his nomination last September by a group of senators who objected to Dr. Satchers opposition to legislation that would outright ban so-called partial-birth abortions without regard to the mothers health and for his support of needle-exchange programs instituted to prevent the spread of AIDS.