Advocacy at a Glance
August 21, 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.
- Save the Date — September 10 Capitol Hill Meetings. On Thursday, September 10, the Alliance for a Stronger FDA will be holding meetings with staff of House and Senate appropriators and authorizers. The meetings are designed to impact the appropriations process as lawmakers head toward the home stretch of the FY 2016 Budget Process. We also want to make sure FDA is on the minds of lawmakers, if there is relief provided from the current spending caps. Congress is just returning from August recess and we believe that this will present a good opportunity to be impactful, with numerous decisions in front of Congress. Please let us know if you are available to participate in the Capitol Hill Meetings on Thursday, September 10 for a half day (morning or afternoon) or for the full day by e-mailing Tony Curry.
- Which Comes First: Budget Negotiations or Passing Appropriations Bills? The Senate Democratic caucus has written to Majority Leader McConnell calling for budget negotiations to start immediately. Their message: only changes in spending ceilings will make proposed appropriations bills acceptable. McConnell’s office has responded that appropriations bills reported from committee need to pass the Senate in order to break the logjam, then the budget can be discussed. Our thought: With Congress out of session, this is a war of words. However, as we get closer to October 1, the need for agreement on budget and appropriations will become more acute.
- Busy Schedule for FSMA Food Regulations. FDA has been publishing FSMA rules and regulations for a while. However, the critical period is the next 10 weeks, with FDA needing to publish key food safety regulations under court-ordered timeframes. Rules on preventive controls for human food and preventive controls for animal food are due out on August 30. Produce safety, foreign supplier verification, and third-party accreditation are expected on or before October 31. More rules will be published later in the year and in 2016.
- NIH’s Improving Relationships With FDA. The Alliance has long stated that a strong FDA is good for NIH and that a strong NIH is good for FDA. We have been encouraged by Dr. Hamburg and Dr. Collins’ efforts to build bridges between the two organizations and we expect this to continue under Acting FDA Commissioner Ostroff. According to Inside Health Policy/FDA Week, the departing NIH deputy director for extramural programs cited progress in FDA/NIH relationships as one of the important NIH accomplishments over the last 5 years.
- No Issue on August 28; Next Issue on September 4. Advocacy at a Glance and the associated Analysis and Commentary will not be published next week. We look forward to providing you with new coverage and insights on September 4, just before Congress returns to DC.