I urge my colleagues in the Senate to vote ‘yes’ in today’s cloture vote in support of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach to be Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA needs a leader with the backing and the mandate that Senate confirmation provides. Continuing to block this supremely qualified nominee will have severe consequences for the near and long-term future of this important agency, whose decisions affect every American, every day.

Dr. von Eschenbach has a strong record. He is an accomplished scientist, a proven manager, and a man with vision. He is also a cancer survivor, and he has brought that perspective -- and the compassion that goes with it -- to his government service.

He has given up a job that he loves – a challenging but rewarding post directing the National Cancer Institute – to offer his service in what I believe is a much more challenging and often thankless job of leading the FDA.

Dr. von Eschenbach has received significant support from the HELP Committee. I urge my colleagues who are not on our Committee to give Dr. von Eschenbach a chance to effectively run the FDA with full statutory authority.