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Advocacy at a Glance

July 10, 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 Appropriations Marks-Up Ag/FDA Funding Bill.  The House Appropriations Committee held its mark-up of the FY 16 Ag/FDA funding bill this week and advanced the bill by voice vote. As previously reported, FDA received a net increase of $30 million in BA appropriations. Food safety activities are to receive an additional $41.5 million and medical product safety an additional $4.2 million. These additions are offset by acceptance of FDA’s proposal for $15 million in administrative savings. The total BA funding for FDA would be $2.618 billion under the House bill. At the mark-up, the committee accepted a modest number of changes to the committee bill and report. These are on pages 5 and 6 and can be viewed here.
  • Appropriations Scorecard: Bills on the Move. Both House and Senate continue to be active in moving appropriations bills forward. Six of 12 appropriations bills have passed the House and five more have been voted out of committee. The remaining bill — funding for homeland security — has just been approved by subcommittee and will receive a full committee vote next week. On the Senate side, nine of the 12 bills have been reported from the full committee. Ag/FDA is one of three subcommittees that has not yet marked up their bills. The House will be attempting to pass all of the remaining appropriations bills during July. In contrast, timing in the Senate is uncertain because Democrats are trying to force negotiations on overall spending and budget caps before they complete all of the appropriations bills. Because of this potential stand-off, there is a great deal of uncertainty about whether there will be regular appropriations this year or something else. For more on the possibilities, read this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • Alliance Briefed on Food Safety Funding. For the second time in 6 weeks, the Alliance hosted a meeting yesterday between FDA and food stakeholders from industry and consumer groups. The purpose of these meetings has been to understand the food resource needs to implement FSMA. Attached are the slides that accompanied FDA’s explanation of the current use of funds, the FY 16 request, and progress against FSMA goals.
  • NDD Town Hall: What’s the Deal with the “Deal?” One of the coalitions that we track closely is NDD United, which advocates for increased spending on non-defense discretionary programs. On July 21 at 1 p.m., they are going to be holding a town hall meeting with Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Nita Lowey. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here! Note that seating is limited, so they have asked for no more than one person per organization.
  • 21st Century Cures Passes House; FDA Mandatory Funding Intact.  H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, passed the House overwhelmingly by a vote of 344-77.  170 Republicans voted for it, and 70 against it; while 174 Democrats voted for it and 7 against it.  Reps. Dave Brat (R, VA), Tom McClintock (R, CA), Scott Garrett (R, NJ), Marlin Stutzman (R, IN), and Scott Perry (R, PA) proposed an amendment to make FDA and NIH funding discretionary, not mandatory. The amendment was not adopted with a vote of 141-281.
  • Administration Statement on FDA Funding in 21st Century Cures.  Immediately prior to the vote, the Obama Administration issued their Statement on Administration Policy regarding the bill.  One important point of note was their view on FDA funding in the bill. Specifically, the statement said:

    the new responsibilities for FDA outlined in H.R. 6 exceed the resources provided in the bill and the President’s FY 2016 Budget and as such, FDA will be unable to fully implement the programs established in the bill, while maintaining its current performance levels.

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