The Senate voted 50-46-1 on Feb. 15 to confirm Robert Califf, MD, as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Six Republicans voted in favor of the nomination, while four Democrats and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted against confirmation. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) voted “present” in an agreement with Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), who was unable to vote in support of confirmation while he is recovering from a stroke.
Califf’s confirmation follows a bipartisan vote in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Jan. 13 [refer to Washington Highlights, Jan. 14].
AAMC leadership encouraged lawmakers to vote to confirm Califf in a Feb. 2 letter to all senators and a Feb. 5 opinion piece in The Hill, noting the importance of a permanent leader as the country continues to respond to COVID-19 [refer to Washington Highlights, Feb. 4]. The AAMC shared support for Califf’s nomination shortly after it was announced in a Nov. 12, 2021, press statement and a Dec. 13, 2021, letter to leaders of the Senate HELP Committee.