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Advocacy at a Glance

November 1, 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.

  • Alliance Quarterly Meeting on November 5th, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Come join us for the Alliance’s quarterly meeting on Tuesday, November 5. This meeting also serves as our annual meeting. Our guest speakers will be from Akin Gump’s political team and they will be discussing the 2014 elections and how it likely to affect Congressional actions on budgets, spending, and legislation over the next 12 months.
  • Budget Conferees Meet for First Time. With a December 13th deadline for reporting an agreement, the House/Senate conference met for the first time this week. The dominant theme was: think small—deals that Congress can agree on that will take government funding through FY 14 and maybe FY 15. There was no serious discussion about a grand bargain that would eliminate the sequestration threat over a 10-year period and put the nation on long-term path to lower deficits. Even with the “think small” approach, it is not clear that the conference committee will be able to come to agreement. However, if they are making progress, December 13 will probably not turn out to be a hard deadline.
  • OMB Releases Interpretation of FY 13 Sequestration of User Fees. In response to Representative Anna Eshoo’s bipartisan letter, OMB has more fully explained their position on the inclusion of FDA user fees in the FY 13 sequestration. OMB states: “the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (BBEDCA), as amended, does not provide an exemption [from sequestration] for the FDA’s authority to spend user fees.” The funds involved, about $85 million, remain in the FDA account as an “unavailable balance” and will remain so “in subsequent years, although they could be appropriated or otherwise made available by subsequent legislation. Any such appropriation would score as new budget authority that counts against the discretionary cap in the year in which the funds are available.”
  • FDA, the Budget Talks and Sequestration. In today’s Analysis and Commentary, Ladd Wiley and Steven Grossman examine how different political and budgetary variables could affect FDA’s funding level for FY 14.

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