FDA Nominee Slowed as Biden WH Goofs on Paperwork

The Biden administration’s plan to quickly have it’s FDA commissioner nominee confirmed has been squelched by its own inability to deliver the proper paperwork on time to Congress, Politico reports.

Robert Califf, who previously led the Food and Drug Administration during the Obama administration was nominated by Biden earlier this month, and the Senate was aiming to schedule his hearing for the week of Dec. 6, according to Politico.

But the paperwork snafu puts makes his nomination now unlikely to come up for a full floor vote before January, Politico said.

Califf’s nomination comes after months of concern that the agency near the center of the government’s COVID-19 response has lacked a permanent leader. More than a half-dozen names were floated for the job before the White House settled on Califf.

A cardiologist and clinical trial specialist, Califf served as FDA commissioner for the last 11 months of President Barack Obama’s second term. Before that, he spent one year as the agency’s No. 2 official after more than 35 years as a researcher at Duke University, where he helped design studies for many of the world’s biggest drugmakers.

Biden had been considering Janet Woodcock for the job. A career FDA regulator, Woodcock faced opposition from some Senate Democrats because of the FDA’s history of opioid approvals and beliefs she was too cozy with the drug industry, Politico noted.

Califf could face some of the same issues, but was the eventual nominee after a monthslong process. Sen. Joe Mancin, D-W.Va., already has announced his opposition.

The Associated Press contributed.

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