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Advocacy at a Glance

January 3, 2014

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 Seeks Increased Funding from Appropriations Committees. On December 20, the Alliance — on behalf of itself and 68 of our members who co-signed — sent a letter to appropriators urging higher funding for the FDA for FY 14. The final version of the letter can be seen if you click here.
  • Appropriations Negotiations Ongoing. There is the continued understanding that staff have been hard at work over the holidays and that the chair/ranking members of the appropriations committees will meet to resolve any differences early next week. The further expectation is that this will result in a bill on the House floor by January 10. However, apart from this schedule, there is no news about committee activities or the funding outcomes for subcommittees and agencies. We expect to have the proposed FDA funding for FY 14 some time next week before the House vote. More about the process and FDA’s prospects are discussed in today’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • Debt Ceiling Fight Still Ahead. While our attention has focused on the appropriations process and its January 15 deadline, there is also an impending fight when the debt ceiling “short-term” deal expires in early February. How quickly this will take center stage is uncertain. The Treasury Department says Congress will need to raise the debt ceiling in February or March, while the Congressional Budget Office has projected May or June.
  • Commissioner Hamburg’s Two Blog Columns in FDA Voice. In the first column, “Driving innovation is a key part of our mission,” the Commissioner points out that “oversight and regulation, when done right, can be a key driver of innovation throughout society.” As examples, she cites FDA’s activities on breakthrough drugs, mobile medical apps, and the recent approval of four gene-sequencing devices. In the second column, “We moved forward on many fronts this year,” she talks about the year’s successes. She points specifically to the FDA’s activities in “creating a system that will reduce foodborne illness, approving novel medical products in cutting-edge areas of science, and continuing to develop our new tobacco control program.”

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