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Califf Uncertainty

A number of Democratic lawmakers may not support Robert Califf to be the next head of the US Food and Drug Administration, Stat News reports.

President Joe Biden nominated Califf to the post in November 2021 and, as Califf previously served as FDA commissioner, his confirmation was considered a "safe choice," as insiders told the Associated Press at the time. Califf was confirmed to the job in an 89-to-4 vote in the US Senate during the Obama Administration.

But as Stat News reports, Califf appears to be facing a tougher road to confirmation this time around. Four Democrats oppose Califf's nomination, another has concerns, and additional Democratic lawmakers are undecided, it says, noting that based on the partisan breakdown of the Senate, Califf needs the backing of all Democrats or has to win over Republicans.

During a committee vote — which the New York Times called close and a likely harbinger of a close full Senate vote — some lawmakers raised concerns about Califf's record with opioids and his embodiment of the "revolving door" between the agency and the private sector.

Stat News adds, though, that some Republican lawmakers seem open to confirming Califf.