Senate clears way for von Eschenbach vote

The US Senate today voted to end debate on the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach to permanently head the FDA, clearing the way for a final vote. Von Eschenbach supporters overcame objections from three Republican senators who opposed his nomination. In a procedural move, the Senate voted, 89-6, to end debate over the nomination. A Senate vote to confirm von Eschenbach as FDA commissioner was expected later today, Reuters reported. Von Eschenbach has served as acting FDA commissioner since September 2005. He was nominated earlier this year by President Bush to take the job permanently.