The Senate Monday voted to confirm President Obama’s nominee for U.S. surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy after more than a year of delays, according to multiple news reports.
He was confirmed in a 53-41 vote, that was split largely along party lines, with one Republican breaking ranks to support the nomination.
Republicans and the NRA strongly opposed Dr. Murthy’s nomination because he has stated that he believes guns are a public health issue, supporting stricter gun control measures, MSNBC reports.
On Monday, the NRA issued a statement confirming their opposition to Dr. Murthy.
“America’s next surgeon general should not be a political operative whose professional inexperience has been a source of bipartisan concern,” said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam, according to MSNBC.
Senate Republicans, who largely voted against his nomination, agreed with the NRA.
“The majority of his career has been spent, not as a doctor treating patients, but as an activist, an activist focused on gun control and political campaigns,” Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican and physician, said according to The Boston Globe.
President Obama applauded the Senate’s confirmation, saying in a statement following the vote that Dr. Murthy will “bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong,” Politico reported.
For his part, Dr. Murthy says he will focus on combating obesity, curbing smoking and fighting chronic diseases, reports the Globe.