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FDA’s FY 14 Appropriation … An Update

January 15, 2014

This post expands upon the Alliance’s initial analysis of final FY 14 appropriations posted to this site early on Tuesday morning. Additional functional and center analysis will be made available later this week.

The Good News About FDA’s FY 14 Appropriation

The Alliance has been widely quoted as saying:

… even with the Ryan-Murray budget agreement, the environment for appropriations remains difficult and tight.

Overall, this proved to be true in the FY 14 omnibus appropriations bill. Nonetheless, public health programs generally did better than most and FDA did remarkably well. This was foreshadowed last June when both the House and Senate agriculture appropriations committees marked up bills in which FDA was slated for increases above the FY 13 enacted level. The Senate bill was the higher of the two, about $50 million above the FY 12 appropriation level (the previous high point for FDA budget authority appropriations).

The final FY 14 appropriations bill — released Monday and hopefully passed by the Congress and signed into law by Saturday of this week — came in at the higher Senate level of $2.552 billion for salaries and expenses. This is nearly $100 million above the FY 13 enacted level and more than $200 million above the FY 13 actual (post-sequester) level. In addition, the final bill includes $9 million for buildings and facilities, higher than either the House or Senate marks. Equally good is that this provides FDA with a strong base for the upcoming FY 15 appropriations process. The Congress also appropriated the $1.795 billion in user fees that have been previously authorized by Congress, bringing FDA’s total FY 14 resources to $4.347 billion.

An additional notable sign of support from the appropriations committees was a provision in the FY 14 bill that restores $79 million of user fees that were sequestered in FY 13. A number of advocacy groups and industry were successful in their argument that user fees are not general revenue and their sequester in FY 13 had no impact on the goal of reducing the federal deficit. Instead, the sequester of these funds undercuts the vital FDA-industry-patient group agreements to enhance FDA programs (more on this below).

Particularly given the ongoing difficult budget environment, the Alliance and the FDA stakeholder community owe deep and sincere thanks to House and Senate agriculture appropriators for their continued appreciation of the FDA’s funding needs. FDA’s mission is growing, science has become more complex and globalization is dramatic and creates new challenges. All this requires the manpower (almost all of FDA’s budget) to grow. Our appropriators have proven they understand this.

Reconciling House and Senate Summaries

  • Senate: “Food and Drug Administration — The bill maintains the Senate level of $2.552 billion for the Food and Drug Administration, which is $217 million above fiscal year 2013.”
  • House: “The FDA receives a total of almost $2.6 billion in discretionary funding in the bill, an increase of $91 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.”

As can be seen from the table below, both statements are accurate. The Senate is referencing the difference between the FY 14 salary and expenses allotment vs. “FY 13 Actual” before one-time items were added. The House is referencing the FY 14 S&E allotment vs. the “FY 13 Enacted.” Both are legitimate ways to make comparison.


Source and Amount of the Restored FY 13 Sequestered User Fees

The restoration of FY 13 sequestered user fees in FY 14 is in addition to the FY 14 BA total of $2.561 billion (see table above) and the FY 14 user fee total of $1.795 billion. It was initially confusing because the language restoring these FY 13 funds was in the general provisions and not contained within the FDA portion of the appropriations bill.

Instead, section 747 of the bill provides for taking sequestered FY 13 user fees and making them “available until expended for the same purposes for which these funds were originally appropriated.”  The Congressional Budget Office scored this provision as $79 million, at slight variance with the $85 million figure that we have all been using.

For purposes of analysis, this is one-time additional monies (does not become any part of the FY 14 base for future years) and is not BA funding (should not be added to the $2.561 billion cited in the table above).

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