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A Potential Budget Deal Is in Place

October 28, 2015

The Alliance for a Stronger FDA sent the following message directly to all its members late yesterday.

House and Senate negotiators have announced a deal that lifts the debt ceiling until March 2017. It also increases spending caps for FY 16 and FY 17 and adopts a variety of other provisions that are largely included to generate offsetting revenue. The bill and The bill summary are attached, along with the CBO estimates.

The legislation would increase non-defense discretionary spending by $25 billion in FY 16 and by $15 billion in FY 17. The FY 16 increase is about 5% and the FY 17 increase is about 3% of total non-defense discretionary budget.

With specific regard to FDA appropriations, this is the end-game that we have been hoping for. It puts the appropriations committees back in charge, to sort national priorities and allocate the additional funds to areas of greatest need. Details about the process have not been released, but we believe that each subcommittee will be given an amended allocation of funds to spend and then would have the chance to make adjustments to their committee-passed bill. We do not know if this will result in the passage of individual appropriations bills or an omnibus.

Appropriators will want to complete action by December 11, when the current CR expires. Between now and then we will be urging appropriators to include additional monies for FDA.

Prospects for passage of the legislation are unclear. Those negotiating the package felt they could corral enough House Republicans, along with Democrats, to pass the package in the House. A vote is expected yet this week. Similarly, Senate Republicans are likely to be split, but with Democratic votes there should be enough support to override a filibuster threat. That said, no one should consider passage of this budget deal to be assured.

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