FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2019 file photo, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, takes questions from reporters as he arrives for votes on pending nominations, at the Capitol in Washington. Romney’s ratcheted-up rhetoric on President Donald Trump is again raising hopes among Trump detractors that the senator could play a key role in the unfolding impeachment saga, though the historic shifts in their relationship mean Romney’s next move is an open question. | J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney voted to advance the White House nominee to head the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to the full Senate on Tuesday, but not without reservation.

The Utah Republican continues to raise concerns over Dr. Stephen Hahn not committing to take action to address the “massive” youth vaping epidemic, particularly banning flavored e-cigarettes that have become popular among children.

“I had hoped in his hearing that he would express very clearly that he would follow science with regards to vaping, specifically that he would place the interest of public health above any other interest, including political interest,” Romney said.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee gave Hahn a favorable recommendation on an 18-5 vote Tuesday.

Romney said that because the vaping issue has “political implications for various people,” he’s concerned the government won’t do what’s right for Americans.

President Donald Trump backed away from a plan announced in September to remove nontobacco flavored vaping products from the market.

On Monday, the bipartisan Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic, which includes Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, urged Trump in a letter to impose the flavor ban, including mint and menthol.

“Our children should not be used as guinea pigs by the tobacco industry,” the letter states.

Hahn, the chief medical executive of MD Anderson Cancer Center, sidestepped questions about a flavor ban during his confirmation hearing in November. Asked by Romney whether he would act to ban flavors, Hahn was noncommittal, saying the final policy is under consideration at the White House.

Romney pushed for the ban in a meeting with Trump, tobacco industry advocates, public health officials and doctors in November.

Romney said Tuesday that if Hahn were told to do something that ran contrary to his views as a doctor and scientist, that he should clearly say he was directed to do so or that he would even consider resigning.

The senator said he voted for Hahn because he believes he’s …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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Mitt Romney votes to advance FDA nominee despite concerns about vaping

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