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Time to Enjoy the Holidays, But …

December 20, 2013

The end of December is a time for taking stock — looking at what has been accomplished in the current year and looking ahead to the challenges of the new year. Even the now-unwieldy Congressional appropriations process used to follow this neat calendar-driven phenomenon: current-year appropriations were usually completed by November and activities re-started in February for the next fiscal year.

For the last few years, we have not had closure: the calendar year concluded before the current fiscal year’s appropriations were resolved. For example, it took until March 2013, nearly half way through FY13,  before  FY 13 appropriations were completed.

This December, things are a little better. We don’t have FY 14 appropriations bills, but we have a budget agreement and we have a deadline for appropriators to conclude their work. If things go as planned, FY 14 funding will be settled by the end of January. And then beginning in February/March, we can start the FY 15 process without a prior year overhang.

We want you to enjoy the holidays and family time over the next two weeks. Please do not forget, however, that appropriations staffers will be working, trying to establish agreements on funding levels for FDA and other agencies. If you have not already signed onto the Alliance’s letter to Congress, please let us know that we can add your name. FDA has a strong case for increased funding, but legislators want to know that the whole community is supportive.

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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