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Approved Budget Marks: Early, Up, but Still to Be Resolved

June 21, 2013

It’s June 21 and the House and Senate appropriations committees have already approved their versions of the Agriculture/FDA appropriations bills. This is remarkably early and we need to be pleased to be in an appropriations bill that is considered one of the least controversial. It remains to be seen whether this will result in House-Senate agreement and an Ag/FDA appropriations bill signed into law. Given the disparity in Senate and House positions on aggregate spending (see above), it is certainly possible that our situation will be one of “hurry up and then wait.”

Below is a chart that compares the House and Senate committee marks for FDA for FY 14 against the FY 12, FY 13, the President’s FY 14 request and the FY 13 enacted (pre-sequester) level that the House and Senate are using as the base year.

While the House mark represents a $24 million increase over the FY 13 enacted level and a $96 million increase over the FY 13 post-sequester level, it is still $22 million below the FY 12 funding level. In contrast, the Senate is $102 million above the FY 13 enacted level, $174 million over the FY 13 post-sequester level and $56 million above the FY 12 base.

The Alliance will continue to work for the largest possible appropriation for the agency, reminding everyone we can that the FDA’s responsibilities keep growing every year. We appreciate the recognition that both the House and Senate have given to this reality.

Function
Note: budget authority only, no user fees

FY 12
Final

FY 13
Post-rescission,
post-sequester
FY 14
President’s
Request
FY 13 Base
(Enacted Level)
Proposed
FY 14
Levels

As calculated
by House (H)

House Mark
6/13/13

 As calculated
by Senate (S)

Senate Mark
6/18/13

SUBTOTAL, Salaries
& Expenses

$2.497
billion

$2.335
billion
$2.549
billion
H: $2.461
billion
H: $2.485
billion
($24 million
over
House base)
S: $2.456
billion

S: $2.552
billion
($96 million
over
Senate base)

Building & Facilities
Repair

$9
million

$5
million
$9
million
H: Included in
S&E total
H: No dollars
provided by
House
S: $5 million S: $ 11 million
in the Senate

Food and Drug Safety
Supplemental — No-Year

$49
million
All BA appropriations
Total (no user fees)

$2.507
billion

$2.389
billion
$2.558
billion
$2.461
billion
H: $2.485
billion
(+ $24
million)

S: $2.563
billion
(+ $102
million)

Anticipating a question, what is the proper interpretation of the difference between the House and Senate positions with regard to funding for building and facilities repair? The reality is that FDA has to spend monies on repairs, regardless of whether Congress funds it. By zeroing it out, the House is not decreeing FDA to delay repairs. Rather, this position forces FDA to tap all the budget lines (primarily the centers) for an amount sufficient to pay for needed repairs. The Senate’s $11 million is not money taken from salaries and expenses, but instead keeps FDA from needing to take money from S&E for repairs.

Note: This analysis and commentary is written by Steven Grossman, the Deputy Executive Director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

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