FOR THE FIRST TIME in the history of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the commissioner is a woman. In the last hours of the 105th Congress, the Senate approved by voice vote the appointment of Jane E. Henney, MD, to fill a post that had been vacant for 21 months.
The nomination, which had been approved by the House Committee on Labor and Human Resources (also by a voice vote), had been held up in the Senate by majority whip Don Nickles (R, Okla) because of concern by some senators that Henney might usurp congressional prerogatives and "legislate by regulation," as Nickles said. He withdrew his opposition at the last minute, clearing the way for Senate approval.
Marwick C. Jane E. Henney, MD, Is New FDA Commissioner. JAMA. 1998;280(20):1731-1732. doi:10.1001/jama.280.20.1731-JMN1125-2-2