Louis Sullivan, expressing his opposition to abortion, won approval from the Senate Finance Committee and moved closer to becoming the secretary of Health and Human Services in President Bush's Cabinet.
Seventeen committee members voted Thursday to endorse Sullivan, including Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., who had criticized the nominee's views on abortion. Packwood had been a key figure in holding up action on Sullivan's nomination.Sen. William Armstrong, R-Colo., voted "present," saying he was disturbed that Sullivan refused to discuss a report on whether aborted fetuses should be used for medical research.
As a courtesy, Sullivan is scheduled to appear Monday before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. The panel has no authority to review Sullivan's nomination, but it does oversee several of the agency's programs.
Finance Committee Chairman Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas, said Sullivan's nomination will go to the full Senate for a vote Tuesday. Bentsen said Sullivan is expected to win confirmation without significant opposition.