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Advocacy at a Glance

November 14, 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.

  • Lawmakers Return to Washington as Lame-Duck Session Begins. After an extended election-season break, Congress returned to Washington this week to begin the lame-duck session which will wrap up the business of the 113th Congress and set the stage for the new 114th Congress. The congressional landscape will change significantly next year, with Republicans having a majority in the Senate, in addition to the House. However, before the new Congress begins, the current Congress has some business to which it must attend. It will primarily focus over the next several weeks on passing government FY15 appropriations before December 11, which is when the current stopgap spending bill expires.
  • Congress Must Act Before the Current Continuing Resolution Expires. As the days are ticking down toward the December 11 midnight deadline for expiration of the current Continuing Resolution, the Appropriations Committees have a clear game plan. They intend to pass an omnibus appropriations bill containing 12 sections, aligning with the jurisdiction of the appropriations subcommittees. Their preference is that each of the sections contain a full bill text with funding for specific agencies and programs. Failing that, a small number of the sections will have continuing resolutions for the agencies in the jurisdiction of a subcommittee. If it occurs this way, we would speculate that Agriculture/FDA would be amongst the ones to have a full bill. Much could still go wrong and upset the Appropriations Committees’ plans. This is discussed further in this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • CFSAN Announces New Center Director. FDA announced that the new director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition will be Dr. Susan T. Mayne, currently a professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health and associate director of the Yale Cancer Center. She is a distinguished scientist and, according to FDA, has conducted “extensive research on the role of food nutrition and obesity and other health behaviors as determinants of chronic disease risk.”
  • Appropriations Committees Urged to Increase FSMA Funding. Describing themselves as “the names behind the statistics,” more than 75 people whose lives were changed by contaminated food urged the House and Senate appropriations committees to fund the Food Safety Modernization Act with an additional $300 million over the next 2 years. This effort has the support of Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D, NY), who has written to the Senate Appropriations Committee advocating at least a $50 million increase for FY 15, as a first step against the $300 million goal.

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