Skip to content

Advocacy at a Glance

December 5, 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.

  • Appropriations Funding Deal Nearly in Place. As of earlier today, December 5, it looks like House Speaker Boehner intends to bring a combined CR/Omnibus bill to the House floor early next week. It will contain two elements: (1) full-year appropriations bills for all federal agencies with (2) the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, which will get a short-term CR so the new Congress can explore ways to reverse President Obama’s executive order on immigration status. This would avoid a government shut-down when the current CR expires December 11. It would also permit the new Congress to focus fresh on FY 16 appropriations without the current year (FY 15) hanging over them unresolved. The expectation is that at least some Democrats will support the FY 15 funding deal and that the President will probably be willing to sign it. However, the anticipated Boehner bill requires Republican leadership to deny conservative members an immediate showdown on immigration.  As a result there are a number of political risks that the deal may fall apart. These risks were described in an Analysis and Commentary post on November 11 this year.
  • How Will FDA Fare under the FY 15 Appropriations Funding Deal? The FDA’s FY 14 base appropriation was $2.561 billion. The House-passed FY 15 level from earlier this year is $2.583 billion. The Senate committee-passed level for FY 15 was $2.597 billion. Based on these, it is possible that FDA might receive a small increase — in the range of 1% to 2%. However, the appropriations subcommittees are not bound by these numbers, so the final FY 15 appropriation for FDA may be higher or lower.
  • Upton Pushes For “Cures” Bill to Be on House Floor by Memorial Day. As reported by Inside Health Policy News: “Fred Upton (R, MI) told patient and pharmaceutical groups Friday (Nov. 21) that he is pressing for the long-anticipated 21st Century Cures bill to be on the House floor before Memorial Day and on the president’s desk by the end of 2015. The Energy and Commerce chair told stakeholders he plans to reach out for Senate support next month, and hopes to unveil a discussion draft by mid-January and introduce a bill not long afterward.” The Alliance does not take positions on authorizing legislation (only appropriations), but will be conveying to the committee that new responsibilities for FDA will require additional monies. Otherwise, something important will go undone or be given too little attention. We urge Alliance members to add that message to whatever they are telling the Committee about their position on the substantive aspects of the legislation. Given the importance of FDA’s workload relative to its appropriation, this week’s Analysis and Commentary explains so-called “unfunded mandates” and why they are so troublesome for FDA.
  • Ebola Actions Affecting FDA. This week the House of Representatives passed S. 2917, the Adding Ebola to the FDA Priority Review Voucher (PRV) Program Act. The bill now awaits the President’s signature. Also, FDA and other lead federal agency partners will hold a public workshop on December 12, 2014, to discuss important aspects of Ebola virus and vaccine immunology. These discussions will inform future clinical, scientific and regulatory decision-making related to vaccines against Ebola.
  • Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus Luncheon Briefing, Wednesday, December 10.  Alliance for a Stronger FDA membership organizations, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, in cooperation with the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC), will convene its 7th educational briefing in the 113th Congress on Wednesday, December 10 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.  Please find more information on the event in this attachment.

Comments are closed.