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Advocacy at a Glance

August 7, 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.

  • Congress in Recess; Senate’s September Agenda Already Packed. There are only about a dozen legislative days in September and no “budget deal” in place. By themselves, these would be enough to keep Congress from completing the appropriations process in September. In addition, the Senate has a particularly full agenda. The Iran deal and cybersecurity legislation — both hotly disputed in the Senate — are likely to take up much of the month.
  • Budget Negotiations May Get Underway Soon. According to CQ Rollcall,

    Republicans leaned an inch closer to budget talks [this week] with the first public recognition from McConnell that negotiations are in sight. ‘We have divided government …. Different parties control the Congress and control the White House, and at some point we’ll negotiate the way forward.’ The statements mark the first time Senate GOP leadership has allowed that Republicans will have to engage in budget talks Democrats have been calling for all summer.

  • Shutdown Showdown: What Are the Possibilities? News stories and commentary are increasingly talking about a possible government shutdown when the new fiscal year starts on October 1. Certainly, there are enough legislative deadlines over the next 8 weeks that the threat must be considered more than brinksmanship and hype. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly and adamantly stated that there will be no repeat of the 2013 government shutdown, saying this week: “Let me say it again: no more government shutdowns.”  He further stated,

    we’ve been down this path before.  This is a tactic that’s been tried going back to the ’90s, frequently by Republican majorities that always have the same ending: that the focus is on the fact that the government is shut down, not on what the underlying issue that is being protested is.

    This week’s Analysis and Commentary looks at the potential for another impasse/shutdown and also provides a refresher on what happened to FDA in 2013.

  • Bright Forecast for Senate “Cures;” Possible Uphill Fight Over Mandatory Funding.  This week, Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander reaffirmed his commitment to developing and passing a bill that would be a counterpart to the House “Cures” bill. He also has no concern about taking a number of months to pull a bill together, feeling that election year politics would not threaten his ability to get passage of a Senate bill. Separately, some commentators have expressed doubt that the Senate will adopt the mandatory NIH and FDA funding contained in the House bill.

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