Report: No FDA Director Before End of Year Due to Biden Paperwork Blunder

The Biden administration is unlikely to see its long-delayed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director confirmed before the end of the year, despite fears of a new coronavirus variant and a winter surge, thanks to an avoidable paperwork blunder.

Politico reported on Tuesday:

A plan to speed Robert Califf’s nomination for FDA commissioner through the Senate next month is on hold after the Biden administration failed to submit the necessary paperwork to Congress in time, three people with knowledge of the matter told POLITICO.

The delay means that Califf is now unlikely to get a confirmation hearing until mid-December at the earliest, effectively ruling out the possibility of a full Senate floor vote on his appointment before the end of the year.

The Senate HELP Committee — which has jurisdiction over the nomination — had hoped to slate Califf’s hearing for the week of Dec. 6, the people with knowledge of the matter said. The proposed timeline would have then given the full chamber a narrow shot at voting to confirm the cardiologist and Obama-era FDA chief before it adjourned, filling President Joe Biden’s highest-profile health policy vacancy.

But that was contingent on the administration submitting required paperwork to the committee by Nov. 19. It missed that deadline, likely pushing Califf’s confirmation vote into January.

President Biden had waited until this month to nominate an FDA director, despite the ongoing pandemic.

On Friday, President Biden imposed a travel ban on South Africa and several other African countries due to concerns about a new coronavirus variant; he and then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) blasted Trump for a travel ban on several African countries last year.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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