The Senate today confirmed Vivek Murthy, MD, as the nation’s next Surgeon General as Democrats took advantage of their soon-to-end majority status to overcome GOP opposition to President Barack Obama’s nominee.

The vote was 51 to 43.

Senate Republicans initially objected to Dr Murthy’s nomination, submitted more than a year ago, because he struck them as a political partisan with not enough clinical or public health experience. Then the National Rifle Association (NRA) branded him as a supporter of “radical gun control measures” based on tweets of his that declared gun violence a public health issue.