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Advocacy at a Glance

December 11, 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.

  • Five-Day Continuing Resolution Likely as Policy Riders Continue to Delay Omnibus Spending Package. Congress plans to push a deadline to fund the federal government into next week to avoid a shutdown on Friday, as lawmakers remain at an impasse on reaching a $1.1 trillion full year omnibus appropriations bill to finance federal agencies for fiscal year 2016. Under current law, government funding expires Friday at midnight, when the last short-term spending bill expires. On Thursday, the Senate approved a short-term spending bill that lasts until next Wednesday, December 16, and the House is expected to pass it on Friday to give negotiators more time to strike a longer-term budget deal. The budget negotiators from both parties are said to be close on the numbers, but flashpoints continue to be a series of so called “policy riders” including GOP efforts to curb Obama Administration regulations including the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, air and water pollution regulation, and travel to Cuba. The short term continuing resolution will give negotiators 5 more days to come to an agreement, but House Speaker Paul Ryan (R, WI) has stopped short of committing to the new December 16 deadline, saying that he’s more focused on getting things right than on meeting some “arbitrary” deadline.
  • Senate HELP Committee Vote on FDA Commissioner Nomination Possible in January. As reported by InsideHealthPolicy, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) is working to possibly schedule a vote in early January on Dr. Robert Califf’s nomination to become FDA’s next commissioner. President Obama nominated Dr. Califf to head FDA in September and the HELP Committee held a confirmation hearing in November. However, two senators recently indicated that they would put the nomination on hold because of HHS policy issues and it is unclear how these recent developments will impact the nomination process timeline.
  • E-mail Ballot for 2016 Alliance Board of Directors Election. The members of the Alliance’s Board of Directors each serve 2-year terms, with half of the board’s terms expiring each year. Accordingly, the Alliance, as a membership driven organization, requires its members to elect a proposed slate of new directors each year to fill the vacant seats created by the expiring terms. Next week the Alliance will be forwarding an e-mail ballot to each Alliance Member and we are asking each Alliance Member to please cast a vote for or against the proposed slate of nominees for 2016 Board of Directors.

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