Senate confirms President Biden's FDA pick amid political divisions

Robert Califf
Posted at 11:36 AM, Feb 15, 2022

The Senate has narrowly confirmed President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration, filling a position that had been open for more than a year.

Most Democrats joined with a handful of Republicans to overcome political obstacles that threatened to sink his nomination. Dr. Robert Califf, a cardiologist, briefly headed the FDA during the Obama administration.

Biden nominated him again, in part, because he was expected to easily win Senate approval. But political controversies on the left and right slowed his path. Some Democrats voted against him due to his past consulting work with drugmakers and concerns about FDA's oversight of opioids.

As The Hill reported though, the vote, which came in at 50-46 to confirm Califf in the Senate, was considered extremely close and could reflect some unexpected opposition from both sides of the aisle.