Nomination of NIH Director Delayed
The confirmation of President Biden’s nominee for leading the National Institutes of Health – Monica Bertagnolli, MD – has been delayed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). Sen. Sanders has vowed to block confirmation of all Biden health position nominees until the Biden administration addresses the Senator’s concerns regarding drug pricing. Sen. Sanders chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over Dr. Bertagnolli’s nomination. A second senator, Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), has made her own demands of Dr. Bertagnolli, which involve signing an expanded ethics agreement to not work for, or on behalf of, major drug companies for four years after leaving the NIH.

The NIH has been without a permanent director for a year-and-a-half at a time of contentious budget negotiations and increased political scrutiny of public health agencies on Capitol Hill.

Last Reviewed: September 2023