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Advocacy at a Glance

September 12, 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.

  • House Introduces CR; Delays Debate/Vote Until Next Week. The House is still in a hurry to pass a Continuing Resolution funding government from October 1 to December 11. However, the bill introduced on Tuesday will not be voted on until next week. Reasons for delay include: President Obama’s request for funds to pay for training of Syrian rebels; disagreements about the length of the temporary reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank; and some conservative resistance to the CR ending this year instead of early 2015 when they hope to have a Republican Senate majority. It is expected that other issues will come up, but there is no definitive list. We would reiterate the view presented previously that: the CR will probably be resolved before October 1, but if you have late September travel plans, consider getting trip insurance.
  • CR Funding Level to Be Slightly Below FY 14. The House CR is widely described as continuing FY 14 funding levels. This is largely true. However, to remain within the overall budget ceiling despite a number of urgent new items that require funding (e.g., expanded Ebola research and outreach), the rate for operations of all agencies is reduced by 0.0554 percent or (by our calculations) about $1.5 million for FDA.
  • CR Anomalies. Attached is the anomalies list that OMB sent to Congress for inclusion in the CR. The only FDA item is to authorize the agency to collect and spend certain new user fees under the Drug Quality and Safety Act (DQSA). This language is included in the House CR.
  • Senators to OMB; Increase FSMA Funding: According to Politico, Democratic farm-state Senators Harkin (Iowa), Franken (Minnesota) and Baldwin (Wisconsin) wrote to OMB urging the funding of key provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act for the 2016 fiscal year. “In recent years, the president has included in his budget a request for various industry fees to partially fund FSMA implementation,” the letter states. “Because the agency will require robust new funding in the near future, we urge you to include a significantly higher Budget Authority request for FY2016, rather than continuing to rely on unauthorized fees to fund these critical initiatives.”

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