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Advocacy at a Glance

September 25, 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.

  • Senate Acts to Avert Government Shutdown; Next Steps are Fluid in House, as Speaker Boehner Announces Plans to Resign at End of October. On Thursday, the Senate rejected a procedural motion on a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would have funded the government through December 11, but also would have withheld federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year. Senate Leadership next intends to take up a “clean” CR without the Planned Parenthood provision, which is expected to pass.
    House Speaker John Boehner (R, OH), who met with conservative Members of Congress on Thursday regarding the Planned Parenthood funding issues, has announced his plans to resign at the end of October. He is expected to lay out his next steps on funding the government later today. Most expect a short-term approach, which would leave a complex situation in the hands of his replacement.
    President Obama technically has until midnight on Wednesday, September 30 to sign legislation that would prevent a partial shutdown, but the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) may be able to buy one additional day if an agreement is reached. If an agreement on a CR looks improbable, the OMB will likely notify federal agencies on September 30 to execute their shutdown plans.
    For more on the emerging end-game, please read this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • Everything You Should Know About Government Shutdowns. Here is an excellent, in-depth Q&A about how shutdowns come about and their consequences. For example: did you know that

    since 1976, there have been 18 “funding gaps,” where funds were not appropriated for at least one day … before 1980, the government did not shut down, but continued normal operations through six funding gaps. Between 1981 and 1994, all nine funding gaps occurred over a weekend, and government operations were only minimally affected. There have been three “true” shutdowns. The first two happened in the winter of 1995-1996, when President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress were unable to agree on spending levels and shut down the government twice for a total of 26 days. The third was in 2013 when the House and Senate standoff on funding resulted in a 16-day shutdown.

  • The Global Food System and FDA’s Need for New Food Safety Monies. The goals of FSMA and its importance to a world-wide food system were addressed in a recent speech by FDA’s Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor. Meantime one of his predecessors, David Acheson, was writing in Forbes about the need for more food safety funding.

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