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Advocacy at a Glance

July 26, 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.

  • Congressional Momentum on Appropriations: Sinking Fast But Not Yet Gone. The July 23 National Journal featured “the four things that House GOP leadership wants to get done” before August recess. Surprisingly, one of the items is a continuing resolution that would fund the government on a temporary basis from October 1 (first day of the new fiscal year), probably until after the election. There is some disagreement as to whether the leadership is trying to get this done so early and whether they would have the votes next week if they do. Between House Democrats with little incentive to cooperate at this point and some Republicans pushing for deeper cuts, there may not be enough votes for passage of a CR. September might be a different story since everyone is saying — at least at this point — that they don’t want another government shutdown, especially before the election. In contrast, we have been told that Senator Mikulski, chair of the Senate appropriations committee, is still holding out hope for an omnibus appropriations bill that would include some final House-Senate agreements and a CR to cover all agencies not funded by the agreement. For a further discussion of the prospects for appropriations bills, see this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • OMB/Agencies Prepare for Possible Continuing Resolution. OMB has asked departments and agencies (such as FDA) to review their needs in case there is a Continuing Resolution. The focus of OMB’s request is on what are called “anomalies.” This refers to any situation where “continuing” 2014 programs and program levels into FY 15 would create a problem. Examples would be where a program or agency would be “shut down, critically degraded, or suffer very difficult implementation issues” unless additional language was added into the CR. The OMB memo of July 10 can be read in full if you click here. At this point, we do not know whether FDA will need any anomalies in the CR in order to run its programs in FY 15.
  • Did You Know: Mexico Edition. Nearly one-third of the FDA-regulated food products we eat comes from Mexico. On the medical products side, Mexico is the second leading exporter of medical devices to the U.S. — the vast majority of which are lower risk devices such as surgical drapes, wheelchair components, and non-invasive tubing. As a result, Mexico is one of the most important countries with with the FDA needs to forge close working relationships. Commissioner Hamburg just made her first trip to Mexico to meet food and drug officials and industry. See her FDA Voice blog column about the trip. Also, the Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine reports on milestone agreements reached during the visit.

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