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Advocacy at a Glance

September 6, 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.

  • Congress Returns to Washington on Tuesday, Deadline for Government Funding Looms.    Congress comes back into session on September 10th and lawmakers will have just nine legislative days to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government before the new fiscal year begins on October 1st. If  Congress fails to renew funding for government operations for 2014, the federal government would be shut down and most federal agencies would close. “Essential” functions, such as Social Security and Medicare payments, would continue, as would some limited FDA activites.
  • Office of Management and Budget Report on FY 2014 Sequester. On August 20th, OMB released a report on the potential for an FY 14 sequester.  In this week’s Analysis and Commentary, the  Alliance’s  Deputy Executive Director, Steven Grossman, provides a detailed assessment of how FDA might be impacted in a potential FY 2014 sequester scenario.
  • Boehner Pushes for  Short-Term Continuing Resolution. House Speaker John Boehner (R, OH) is pressing his fellow Republicans to adopt a plan that would avert a government shutdown at the end of September by passing a “short-term” budget bill that “maintains current sequester spending levels.” “Our intent is to move quickly on a short-term continuing resolution [CR] that keeps the government running and maintains current sequester spending levels,” Boehner told his fellow Republican lawmakers during a GOP strategy call which took place in late August.
  • Debt Ceiling Stalemate Could Lead to Government Shutdown. Last week, the Treasury Department warned Congressional leaders that the nation’s debt ceiling will be hit earlier than expected, probably in mid-October.  The U.S. government formally hit the ceiling on what it could borrow in May. Since then, Treasury has deployed a variety of accounting techniques to continue to borrow. Republicans in Congress have said they will not raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama agrees to some combination of tax reform and changes to programs like Social Security and Medicare. The administration has stated that it will not negotiate over the debt ceiling issue. A stalemate over the debt ceiling could lead to a government shutdown when the Treasury runs out of authority to borrow money –- and, in that case, essential services would not necessarily continue. Social Security checks could stop. The federal government would be in technical default on its debt payments.

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