NRA opposition may sink Obama pick for surgeon general

Intense lobbying by the National Rifle Association has made Senate confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy difficult, if not impossible, media outlets report. Murthy has advocated for stricter gun control laws, calling it a public health issue.

The Wall Street Journal: Some Democrats Balk At Confirming Obama's Surgeon General Pick
A number of Senate Democrats have indicated that they might oppose President Barack Obama's choice of Vivek Murthy for the post of U.S. Surgeon General, according to Senate aides, putting the nomination at risk over the issue of gun control. Dr. Murthy's nomination is opposed by the National Rifle Association, the country's largest gun lobby, because he has expressed support for gun control, calling it a public-health issue (Peterson, Nelson and Corbett Dooren, 3/15).

Los Angeles Times: NRA Opposition May Sink Obama's Surgeon General Nominee
Intense opposition from the National Rifle Assn. has all but doomed prospects for President Obama's nominee for surgeon general, officials said Saturday as pro-gun Senate Democrats peeled away from the White House on a volatile issue in an election year. Facing a potential high-profile setback for the president, the White House is not pushing for a vote to confirm Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, a Harvard- and Yale-educated internist and former emergency room doctor who has advocated for stricter gun control laws, the officials said (Mascaro, 3/15).

The New York Times: Senate Balks At Obama Pick For Surgeon General
Facing a possible defeat in the Senate, the White House is considering delaying a vote on President Obama's choice for surgeon general or withdrawing the nomination altogether, an acknowledgment of its fraying relationship with Senate Democrats. The nominee, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, an internist and political ally of the president's, has come under criticism from the National Rifle Association, and opposition from the gun-rights group has grown so intense that it has placed Democrats from conservative states, several of whom are up for re-election this year, in a difficult spot (Peters, 3/14).

The Associated Press: White House Backing Off Push For Surgeon General
Democratic officials said the Senate leadership was trying to figure out how to proceed with Murthy's nomination and assessing whether he would have enough votes for confirmation. He was approved by committee vote last month with the support of all Democrats and one Republican. Murthy, 36, would be the first Indian-American surgeon general and is backed by a long list of medical groups. But the NRA said that Murthy's support of gun control, including a letter he sent to Congress last year in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, raised questions about whether he is motivated by science or politics. Murthy sent the letter as president of Doctors for America, a group he co-founded that supported Obama's plans for health care reform (Pickler, 3/14).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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