West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has been a constant thorn in President Joe Biden’s side, and he is at it again.
In a Split Senate, Manchin’s vote is critical because if Republicans stay together and vote no, a Biden nomination would be hard to confirm.
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West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has stated that he will vote no on Dr. Robert Califf’s nomination to oversee the Food and Drug Administration, according to CNN.
“I will vote no on Dr. Califf’s nomination, and I have never been more profoundly confident of a vote I’m going to cast than I am right now,” Manchin said while calling on his colleagues to “send a message to this administration, to our President, that we need a new direction at the FDA.”
During his previous confirmation hearing, Califf encountered fierce resistance from a number of Democrats, including Manchin, who questioned his links to the pharmaceutical business.
Sen. Manchin stated his opposition to the nominee when it was revealed in November.
“Dr. Califf’s nomination makes no sense as the opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc on families across this country with no end in sight. 2020 was the deadliest year on record for drug-related overdose deaths with 1,386 West Virginians and nearly 95,000 Americans dying from a drug-related overdose. I have made it abundantly clear that correcting the culture at the FDA is critical to changing the tide of the opioid epidemic,” he said.
“Instead, Dr. Califf’s nomination and his significant ties to the pharmaceutical industry take us backward not forward. His nomination is an insult to the many families and individuals who have had their lives changed forever as a result of addiction.” he added.
“I could not support Dr. Califf’s nomination in 2016 and I cannot support it now. I urge the Administration to nominate an FDA Commissioner that understands the gravity of the prescription drug epidemic and the role of the FDA in fighting back against the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. Championing the needs of our nation’s public health must be their number one priority,” he said.
This follows only the week after the senator declared that Biden’s Build Back Better plan had been halted and that he was fiercely opposed to it.