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The Devil is Still Awaited in the Details

April 11, 2011

As most readers of these updates will be aware, late on Friday night, the House and Senate reached agreement on a Continuing Resolution that would fund the federal government until September 30, 2011.

The Alliance staff have been told the agreement incorporates about $38 billion in cuts below the FY 10 spending levels. Since the deal is for an aggregate amount of cuts, we have no information yet about the specific amounts that any given program will receive. It is unclear whether those specific numbers have even been set or still need to be allocated.

With a general agreement in place, both Houses passed a temporary CR to keep the government in business through Friday, April 15. This will provide time for the actual legislation to be drafted and program allocations to be finalized. Assuming the House wishes to preserve its rule that legislation must be available to review 72 hours before a vote, this means that the legislation should be available no later than tomorrow (Tuesday) evening. Some program allocations may become known sooner.

The Alliance is very concerned about how FDA will fare — the $38 billion is the largest non-defense spending cut in US history. We will communicate with you as soon as we know the amounts FDA will have to work with in FY 11. Regardless of the immediate outcome, we know that FY 12 is going to be a difficult year. We look for your support to sustain and grow FDA. We need to keep reinforcing that FDA does very little that is optional — its funding is tied to public health and safety, as well as the growth of jobs and the economy.

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