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Advocacy at a Glance

November 16, 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.

  • Omnibus by December 11? It now seems fairly certain that the House and Senate will not take up individual appropriations bills, but will instead roll all or almost all of them into an omnibus. There are some doubts on Capitol Hill as to whether this can be accomplished before the continuing resolution (CR) expires on December 11. If this becomes an issue, we have been told by staff that a short-term CR of a week would be adopted without much of a problem.
  • Congressional Schedule: Counting the Days. Both the House and Senate were in recess at the end of this week. They will be back next week (starting November 16), then take Thanksgiving week off. When they return, there will only be 8 to 9 legislative days to finish appropriations before the CR expires.
  • House to Hold Listening Sessions. There are six FY 16 appropriations bills that did not pass the House of Representatives this year, although most passed out of subcommittee and committee. For those six, the House has scheduled 1-hour “listening sessions” where Members of Congress can ask questions of the chair of the subcommittee. Agriculture/FDA will be discussed on November 18 at 2 p.m. Note: These are closed sessions for Members of Congress. This suggests that staff will still be working on the bill, but that final decisions, particularly on legislative riders, will not be made until afterwards.
  • Not Too Late to Write Appropriators to Increase FY 16 Funding for the FDA. If you haven’t written to Congress asking for increased FY 16 appropriations for FDA, what’s stopping you? We need appropriators to respond to the agency’s funding situation. More money is needed for the Food Safety Modernization Act and for many of the increased functions on the medical products side (e.g., FDASIA implementation, compounding, precision medicine, etc.). So, if you haven’t written a letter yet, we have provided directions. Once you have completed your letter, send it to Tony Curry and we will aggregate letters and send them to Congress. If you also want to deliver your letters yourself, please do so, but we still would like an electronic copy for the aggregation effort. Why write a letter? This is the topic of this week’s Analysis and Commentary.

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