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Advocacy at a Glance

September 27, 2013

Advocacy at a Glance offers you the bullet point summary of current advocacy issues associated with the goals of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

  • Latest on the Continuing Resolution. The Senate will finish voting on the CR today (September 27) or tomorrow and send it back to the House. The Senate bill will extend funding to November 15, rather than the House’s December 15. The House “strategy” is a moving target. Boehner says the House will not accept the Senate bill, but the precise House position is subject to ongoing negotiations within the Republican caucus. There is a good chance this will go “down to the buzzer, ” which could be early next Tuesday morning. The possible outcomes appear fairly fixed: clean CR until 11/15; shorter CR, perhaps for as little as a few days or a few weeks; transfer the health care fight to the debt ceiling debate, knowing that it can still be taken up again on November 15.  Republicans could decide to let the government shut down by insisting on changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but that does not change these three possible outcomes, just defers them.
  • Debt Limit Debate Will Occur in Early October. To add to the sense of urgency and impending crisis, Treasury Secretary Lew has advised Congress this week that the Debt Ceiling will be reached by October 17. The House has already started to develop its strategy and a legislative vehicle and the new deadline will accelerate their activities.
  • Will There Be a Government Shutdown? A document (available here) from Senator Coburn’s (R, OK) office summarizes communications the Senator received from the Congressional Research Service.  While not particularly focused on FDA, it provides some good context for the current debate and explains some of the ramifications of a shutdown.
  • With so much happening every day at FDA that concerns consumers, patients, health professionals, and industry, it is no wonder that everyone wants to know what happens to the agency during a government shutdown. Today’s Analysis and Commentary pieces together what is known about FDA’s status, based on OMB and HHS guidance provided during past shutdowns and near-shutdowns.

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