Last updated on February 15, 2022
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said in no uncertain terms that he would not support President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Robert Califf.
Manchin noted that he had opposed Califf’s nomination when former President Barack Obama first put him forward as the nominee in 2016, and he said that West Virginians had suffered during his brief tenure (February of 2016-January 20, 2017) in the role.
“Manchin to oppose nomination of Robert Califf to run FDA: My opposition is nothing new. In fact, it was exactly five years ago next week that I came to the Senate floor to urge my colleagues to oppose Dr. Califf’s nomination to serve under then President Obama in the same role,” Fox News Congressional reporter Chad Pergram tweeted.
“Manchin: In the five years since Dr. Califf was confirmed, more than 400,000 Americans, and 5,000 West Virginians have died from drug related overdose….Califf bears a great deal of responsibility for these deaths,” Pergram continued, reporting Manchin’s comments.
Manchin’s math appeared to be slightly off, as Califf’s confirmation actually took place six years ago in February of 2016.
“I cannot, for the life of me, understand why this administration is so committed to asking each of us in the Senate to reconfirm a person who had the opportunity to make a difference but show us who he really was. Do not expect a different outcome,” Manchin continued, according to Pergram’s report.
The West Virginia Senator’s conclusion was simple: “If he is given another opportunity to lead the FDA, that won’t happen. 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 has been pushing back on a number of President Joe Biden’s initiatives, effectively killing the Build Back Better bill just before Christmas when he promised to vote no because of the impact he believed it could have on inflation.
As The Daily Wire reported:
“I’ve done everything humanly possible. And you know my concerns I had, and I still have these concerns,” Manchin continued, noting that the people in his home state of West Virginia were already feeling the impact of inflation and he was concerned that it would not be a transitory thing. “It’s real, it’s harming every West Virginian, it’s making it almost — difficult for them to continue to go to their jobs. The cost of gasoline, the cost of groceries, the cost of utility bills, all of these things are hitting in every aspect of their life and you start looking at — then you have the debt that we are carrying at $29 trillion, you have also the geopolitical unrest that we have. You have the COVID, the COVID variant, and that is wreaking havoc again, people are concerned.”
“With my family, I know everyone is concerned, so when you have these things coming at you the way they are right now, I’ve always said this, Bret: if I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it, and I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible, I can’t get there,” Manchin added.
Manchin also joined colleague Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in promising to vote no on any move to change the Senate rules in a way that would weaken or kill the filibuster.
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