Gun views hamstring surgeon general pick
The White House is carefully weighing how to move forward with the president's pick for surgeon general.
The nomination has drawn heckles from gun rights advocates.
A senior administration official, who requested anonymity to talk about White House strategy on the nomination, stressed that the White House hasn't given up on confirming Vivek Murthy, who is perhaps best known for founding Doctors for America, a group that campaigned for Obama's health care law.
But after Obama's nominee to oversee the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, Debo Adegbile, was blocked from Senate confirmation because of objections to the role he played in the defense of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, the White House decided to slow down its push for Murthy.
“After the Debo vote, we are recalibrating the strategy around his floor vote,” the senior administration official said.
Murthy, 36, was approved in a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee vote last month with the support of all Democrats and one Republican. He has received the endorsements of several prominent groups and individuals in the health and wellness community.
But his nomination has faced growing opposition from gun rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association, which has raised objections to Murthy advocating for tougher gun laws in the aftermath of the 2012 Newtown, Conn., school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead.
Among the reforms that Murthy backed in a 2013 letter to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were mandatory licensing for anyone purchasing a firearm or ammunition and a federal ban on assault weapons.
“Just as troublesome as these positions are Dr. Murthy's calls for the federal government to use its involvement in health and medicine to further a gun control agenda,” NRA Executive Director Chris Cox wrote in a letter last month to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, who has a track record of supporting gun ownership rights, told constituents in a letter that he was unlikely to support Murthy if the vote comes to the full Senate for a vote.
“While the Senate has not yet scheduled a vote on Dr. Murthy, I have already told the White House I will very likely vote no on his nomination if it comes to the floor,” Begich said in the letter, The Associated Press reports.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has said he will try to block Murthy's confirmation, said he, too, is concerned about Murthy's political agenda and that Murthy will use the position to promote gun control.
Earlier this week, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who has been among the most outspoken critics of the pick, expressed confidence that several Senate Democrats expecting tough re-election battles will join Republicans in voting against Murthy.
“I know there are a number of senators who are up for re-election who are probably not going to want to vote for somebody who is this committed to taking away our Second Amendment rights,” Barrasso told Fox News.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kentucky clerk invokes ‘God’s authority,’ still refuses gay marriage licenses
- CDC lauds schools for better nutrition
- Prep school graduate Labrie convicted of sex charges
- Suspect in Houston-area deputy’s death has history of mental illness, prosecutors say
- Supreme Court rules against Kentucky county clerk on gay marriage licenses
- Less sleep increases your chance of catching a cold, researchers say
- McKinley backers balk over mountain’s name change
- Russia, China ply cyberdata to exploit U.S. spies
- Lost hiker survived 9 days with broken leg in California’s Sierra Nevada
- Memorial service for slain Virginia journalists brings call for action
- Alaska-bound, Obama makes waves by renaming Mount McKinley