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Advocacy at a Glance

February 20, 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.

  • Freshman and Sophomore Day a Success. On February 18, eight teams of Alliance members visited with over 40 Member offices. The primary focus of the day was to meet with staffers who work for either Freshman or Sophomore Members of the House. We want them to know what FDA does, why all of its stakeholders support more resources, and why FDA is different from other regulatory agencies. We started this annual effort 4 years ago, when there was such a large Freshman class, many of whom considered all regulatory agencies to be bad. It was worthwhile then and we find it continues to create informed opinion about FDA in a broad set of Hill offices.
  • Sign Up for Alliance Lobby Day on March 18. In past years on Lobby Day, we have managed to visit 50 or more offices to promote understanding of FDA’s resource needs. While a number of other offices are targeted, the primary focus of Lobby Day is the authorizing committees and House and Senate leadership. FDA is an area where bipartisan compromises still seem possible, legislation has moved, and there are at least five major new laws since 2009. It is important the authorizers are educated about FDA’s resource needs. Our visits also serve to highlight the opportunity for authorizers to be talking with appropriators about the increasing responsibilities the agency has taken on. To sign up for morning or afternoon meetings (or both), please e-mail Tony Curry.
  • Alliance Unveils FY 16 “Ask” for FDA Funding. The Alliance is requesting that FDA’s appropriated funding go from $2.6 billion to $2.8 billion in FY 16. This represents a $200 million increase above the FY 15 levels. For more on the Alliance “ask,” the unfolding budget drama, and how you can help, please read this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • Congress Returns Next Week. Congress has been on recess this week and returns on Monday. The most pressing item is funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which will otherwise run out on February 28. The impasse to date has been over the House’s determination to add riders to cut off President Obama’s immigration initiative. It is clear that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t have the votes to pass a similar bill on his side. No one knows how this will resolve. As described previously, this is the first of several “fiscal cliffs” that are likely to dog Congress all year. Each has an impact on federal spending and each has consequences if nothing is passed. Stay tuned.

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