If they're planning to pick an agency insider to replace Food and Drug Administration commissioner David A. Kessler, White House officials may face a battle on Capitol Hill.
Several of Kessler's deputies -- Michael Freidman, Mary Pendergast and William Schultz -- appear to be in the running. But congressional Republicans have already declared that an insider won't do.
"The agency is in need of reform; not much has changed at the FDA since its creation," says a well-connected Republican aide. "We need new ideas in management as well as legislative reform. Someone from the outside would be in a better position to deal with the problems."