For 2015 … A Third, and Important, Lobby Day
The Alliance’s upcoming “Lobby Day” is next Thursday, September 10. This is a call to arms and we hope you will respond. We need your help to make the day a success.
Traditionally, the Alliance has held two lobby days. We hold one in March with appropriators and authorizers, catching the beginning of the appropriations cycle. In May, we usually schedule a day of meetings with Freshman and Sophomore legislators. We see the May meetings as an investment in FDA’s future.
Why do a third lobby day in September? Foremost, it is because the FY 16 appropriations is an unsolvable problem unless something changes. It might involve:
- Democrats accepting lower spending levels
- Republicans agreeing to higher non-defense budget ceilings
- Some reordering of priorities so that more important programs (such as FDA) receive a greater portion of available dollars
- A never-ending series of short-term continuing resolutions under which every program is held at last year’s levels
Two of these four possibilities hold the potential for selected programs to receive more monies than they are currently slated to receive. FDA under the House bill is a net gain of $30 million; the Senate is a net gain of $40 million. Not bad, especially with other programs being funded below last year’s levels. But hardly enough to meet increased responsibilities and growing demand for program resources. It could well be a very tight year for FDA, especially on food safety/FSMA implementation.
So, there is a chance to compete for any additional funds — if they become available. Further, there is everything to gain from reminding Congress of the importance of FDA. Even if it doesn’t provide immediate benefit, it is part of our continuing investment in educating Congress about FDA.
We hope you agree this is important and will lend your support to the September 10 lobby day.
Note: This week’s Analysis and Commentary was written by Steven Grossman, the deputy executive director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.