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Advocacy at a Glance

January 16, 2015

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 Ag/FDA Approps Republican Members Named. Representative Robert Aderholt (R, AL) will again chair the appropriation subcommittee responsible for funding FDA. His fellow Republicans will be: Alan Nunnelee (R, MS), Kevin Yoder (R, KS), Tom Rooney (R, FL), David Valadao (R, CA), Andy Harris (R, MD), and David Young (R, IA).
  • Senate Ag/FDA Approps: Chairman Named. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas is the new chair of the Agriculture/FDA appropriations subcommittee. He will be replacing Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, who will be chairing the Labor-HHS appropriations subcommittee.
  • Proponents of Increasing Non-Defense Appropriations Spending to be Active Again. As often mentioned in the Friday Update, efforts to increase FDA funding are affected by the larger budget picture, particularly total funds available for non-defense spending. The largest organization advocating in this area — NDD United — is holding a budget overview briefing that might be of interest to Alliance members. It features Robert Greenstein and Joel Friday from the Center for Budget Priorities. The time is January 29, 2015, from 1 to 3 p.m. If you are interested in attending, then RSVP here.
  • House 21st Century Cures Initiative Nears Proposal Stage. Over the last year, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R, MI) and Diane DeGette (D, CO) have led a bipartisan effort to determine how to best strengthen the medical research and drug development process. Their thinking is outlined in a commentary available on line. Our understanding is that a discussion paper or draft bill will be circulated soon. While the Alliance, consistent with its mission, has no position on the substance of this effort, we are encouraged to hear two senior House members talking about the need for more resources for FDA.
  • CBO Evaluates Sequestration/Future Budget Ceilings. After each annual Congressional session ends, the Congressional Budget Office is responsible for issuing a status report on sequestration and future budget ceilings. The report concludes that sequestration will not be required for FY 15 (current year), an outcome that confirms the Ryan-Murray budget deal worked as planned. The section on future budget ceilings (FY 16 to FY 21) reflects the deep automatic cuts that might need to be made unless Congress changes revenue, entitlements and/or discretionary spending.

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