The sudden resignation of Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, leaves a giant hole atop an agency that oversees a quarter of the U.S. economy. Which, of course, leads to an equally big question: Who will replace him?
This is actually a two-part question. First, the administration will likely decide on an acting commissioner, who can take control when Gottlieb departs in a month. Then comes the harder task of finding a nominee who can be confirmed by the Senate. It would not be unprecedented for an administration facing other battles to leave the acting commissioner in place for months — or longer. There might not be a new commissioner until after 2020.