The nomination of Dr. David Satcher reached the Senate floor, and was stalled by objections from conservatives. Sen. John D. Ashcroft (R-MO), who is leading the opposition, criticized Satcher1s opposition to legislation that would ban D&X abortions, and for supporting needle exchange programs for drug addicts to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), the only medical doctor in the Senate, supported Satcher, claiming that he was highly qualified. Satcher has also received support from the Congressional Black Caucus, the American Medical Association and Conservative Rep. Tom Coburn.
Should Ashcroft decide to filibuster the nomination, 60 votes would confirm Satcher for the surgeon general post.