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Advocacy at a Glance

September 19, 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.

  • Congress Approves Government Funding and Syria Rebel Aid, Lawmakers Leave Town for Midterm Campaigns. The Senate on Thursday easily cleared a continuing resolution that would fund the federal government for 10 weeks (through December 11) and provide short-term authorization for the military to train and equip Syrian rebels. The stopgap measure sailed through the Senate, 78-22, a day after receiving broad support in the House. House lawmakers voted 319-108 to pass the continuing resolution, with 143 Democrats joining 176 Republicans in support of the measure. 55 Democrats and 53 Republicans voted against the bill. Lawmakers of both the House and Senate have left Washington to campaign for the midterms and will not return until after the November election.
  • FDA Under the Continuing Resolution: The Good and The Bad. The short-term nature of the CR is hurtful to FDA’s efforts to plan ahead and to efficiently allocate dollars and employee time. Also, money under the CR will be extraordinarily tight (i.e., no growth), many vacancies at FDA will have to wait to be filled, and some degree of disruption at the agency is inevitable. However, given that this pre-election CR is inevitable, it helps federal agencies that it is clean of controversy and has passed more than a week before the end of the fiscal year. This will allow FDA to plan properly for its work during the first 10 weeks of the new fiscal year. It avoids the push-pull of simultaneously planning to work and planning for an orderly shut-down of the agency as would occur if the CR waiting until the last day or two of the fiscal year.
  • Appropriations Committees Share Common Goal in Lame Duck Session. When appropriators return after the elections, they will need to come up with a more permanent solution for FY 15 funding. There is strong sentiment on both House and Senate committees to enact bills that make appropriations for federal agencies and activities, rather than have them funded by extensions of the continuing resolution. This week’s Analysis and Commentary explores some of the options.
  • FDA Research Helps Keep Animals and People Healthy. FDA is best known for its work on medical products and food safety. Yet, it also plays a pivotal role in animal health — medicines and foods. This point is made well in an article that appeared this week on the FDA web site.

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