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Senate Confirms Obama Choice for Surgeon General

FILE - Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, President Barack Obama's nominee to be the next U.S. Surgeon General, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 4, 2014.

The Senate has confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy as the new U.S. Surgeon General after a year-long delay over his support for tougher gun laws.

Monday's vote was 51 to 43.

President Barack Obama says he applauds the Senate for its vote, saying Murthy will work to make sure all Americans have the information they need to keep safe and so kids will grow up healthy and strong.

Many Republicans and some Democrats opposed Murthy for his public backing of stricter gun control and support for the president's signature health care law.

But his supporters say the 37-year-old is a well-qualified health expert and will not use his office as a political platform.

The U.S. Surgeon General has traditionally been the government's advocate for better health, including urging Americans to exercise, eat sensibly and not smoke.