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Advocacy at a Glance

August 24, 2012

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.

  • Update on FY 13 Continuing Resolution and Congressional Deficit Negotiations. This is week #3 of Congress’s 5-week recess. They will return about September 10, after the political conventions. Here are updates on some of the topics that the Alliance has covered as part of advocating for greater FDA appropriations:
    • There is continued agreement within and outside Congress that the threat of a government shut-down on October 1 (first day of fiscal year 2013) is a political disaster for both parties. It is expected, therefore, that Congress will pass a 6-month Continuing Resolution sometime after it returns in September. Agencies would be funded at their FY 12 levels for the first half of FY 13, but would still be at risk for a sequester (across the board cut) of 8 percent or more on  January 2, 2013.  There are assumed to be agreements on various details of the CR (same as FY 12 levels, 6-month duration), but it would not be surprising to discover there are still differences once Congress sits down to hammer out the details.
    • A bi-partisan group of Senators and Representatives are continuing to meet in August in the hope of forging an agreement on a big deficit reduction plan ($3-4 trillion) that would remove the sequester threat and ease or eliminate a number of end-of-the year controversies on funding, tax and deficit issues. A smaller package (about $1.2 trillion) would be enough to negate the sequester. The goal of the larger plan is to avoid a number of future deficit show-downs, not just to avoid sequester. It is also felt that some of the necessary “big picture” trade-offs (e.g. the need to include new tax revenues)  are easier if  part of a longer-term solution rather than being part of solving a short-term crisis (sequester).
  • Updated CRS report on Sequestration Exemptions. This month the Congressional Research Service updated its earlier report titled, “Budget ‘Sequestration’ and Selected Program Exemptions and Special Rules.” The report explains what sequestration is and what is and is not subject to it. In the report, CRS explains which programs are exempt from the cuts, and which programs’ cuts are capped at a lower rate. The report also explains how sequestration can be targeted in the years following 2013 if budget caps are surpassed and how the BCA interacts with PAYGO.

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