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Advocacy at a Glance

April 4, 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.

  • Commissioner Hamburg Testifies Before House Subcommittee. Yesterday, March 27, Commissioner Hamburg testified before the House Agriculture/FDA appropriations subcommittee. Here are some of the focus areas raised by appropriators at the hearing:
    • Full Committee Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R, KY): Concerned about painkillers, and was disappointed over recent FDA approval of a new powerful pain medication
    • Agriculture/FDA Appropriations Chairman Robert Aderholt (R, AL):  If user-fees for food program are not achievable this year, then why were they included in administration’s budget?
    • Rep. Valadao (R-CA):  User fees are now almost at same level of appropriations (expressed concern over this trend)
    • Agriculture/FDA Appropriations Ranking Member Sam Farr (D, CA): Appreciative of FDA’s work on Medical Countermeasures
    • Rep. DeLauro (D, CT): Highlighted how NASA’s budget is $17 billion and 4 times the size of FDA. FDA has much broader and important responsibilities and it is astonishing that FDA receives this little funding
    • Rep. Bishop (D, GA): Pointed out that FDA’s responsibilities are growing amazingly fast
  •  Senate Ag/FDA Appropriations Hearing Next Week: April 3.We have now confirmed that the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture/FDA appropriations will hold its hearing on April 3. For those considering submitting written testimony on the need for increased FDA appropriations, the deadline is April 4 and the details are available here.
  • Thanks for the Tweets (and we need more of them)!  We had a great experience with our members making the world aware of why funding for the FDA is important in advance of the House Ag/FDA Appropriations Hearing. We had over 20 member organizations with more than 20,000 followers making people aware of the importance of FDA funding. We will pursue this strategy again for the upcoming Senate hearing.  We will send out another action alert on Monday.
  • If the Ryan/Murray Deal Established a Topline Spending Number for FY15, Why is the House Proposing an FY 15 Budget Resolution? What Are the Flaws in the Administration’s FY 15 Request for FDA? These questions are addressed as part of this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • Intel on the FY 15  Appropriations Process. While not yet certainties, we have heard two important points made about the likely path for FY 15 appropriations. First, the House and Senate are unlikely to pre-conference the 302(b) subcommittee spending allocations. If this proves to be the case, then the House and Senate Agriculture/FDA subcommittees may have dramatically different amounts available to spend. Second, nobody is saying how fast the subcommittees will mark up — particularly since they do not yet have the CBO analysis of the President’s budget request or their 302(b) allocations — but the general agreement is that both appropriations committees will start marking up the less controversial subcommittee bills (NB: usually includes Agriculture) by late April or during May.

[The Alliance’s sitemaster apologizes for the delay in posting this material to the Alliance’s web site. This information was circulated to the Alliance membership on March 28, 2014]

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