US Senate Pushes Through Controversial Biden Nominee

US Senate Pushes Through Controversial Biden Nominee

( – Ordinarily, appointing a new head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is relatively routine. However, the position’s importance has reached epic proportions during a global pandemic. Yet, the US Senate recently advanced President Joe Biden’s nominee.

On Monday, February 14, the Senate narrowly passed a cloture motion regarding the confirmation of Biden’s nominee to head the FDA, Robert Califf. Cloture is a Senate procedure used to limit debate on a measure, or in this instance, a presidential appointment.

As one might expect, the measure passed along mostly partisan lines with a vote of 49 to 45. A final vote on Califf’s confirmation is expected later this week. But, a cloture vote typically serves as a preview of which way the Senate will swing.

Five Republicans voted to advance Califf’s nomination, including longtime defectors Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Four Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-VA) and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), opposed the measure. In addition, several senators declined to vote on the action, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Controversy has surrounded Califf’s nomination, particularly from pro-life advocates, who pledged to do their best to block his appointment over concerns regarding his past support for abortion pills. Additionally, Sen. Manchin raised objections moments before the floor vote, arguing Califf approved several opioid drugs while serving as the FDA Commissioner under former President Barack Obama.

What do you think about Califf’s record of supporting opioids and questions surrounding his stance on abortion?

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