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Advocacy at a Glance

January 29, 2016

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.

  • Alliance’s Quarterly Member Meeting and Special Guest Legislative Panel on Tuesday, February 2 from 1-3 P.M. The meeting will feature a special guest panel of former Senator Kay Hagan (D, NC), former Congressman Bill Paxon (R, NY), and other Akin Gump legislative and political experts. The topic will be the 2016 legislative environment and the November elections. Please note: Invitation to this event is restricted to Members of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and is closed to the media.
  • Senator Murray Wants FDA at “Full Throttle;” Pushes Mandatory FDA Funding. Senator Patty Murray (D, WA), Ranking Member of the Senate HELP Committee, said during a January 28 hearing that she is committed to mandatory funding for the NIH and FDA as part of the 21 Century Cures/Innovations legislative process. For the Alliance’s view of this issue, read here.
    • Tweet of the Week: @HELPCmteDems — Murray: The truth is, we simply can’t realize the goals of access, quality, & affordability without the @US_FDA & the @NIH at full throttle.
  • President Will Release FY 17 Budget Request on February 9. Mark your calendars. OMB will distribute the President’s FY 17 Budget Request on the morning of February 9. The key for the Alliance will be the “Congressional Justification for FDA Funding,” which is often book-length. Given the lateness of the FY 16 budget deal in December, it had been unclear whether the request and accompanying text would use FY 16 or FY 15 as the base year. We have been told reliably that the budget request will use the FY 16 base.
  • Senator Joe Manchin Threatens Filibuster Regarding Califf Nomination; President Reaffirms His Support. Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) became the fourth Senator to signal opposition to Dr. Califf’s nomination (Sens Markey (D, MA), Murkowski (R, AK), and Sanders (D, VT) have already placed holds on the nomination). In a press release earlier this week, Sen. Manchin explained his opposition which largely relates to the opioid situation, and you can read his concerns here. Meantime, the White House press secretary Josh Earnest stated the President has “full confidence” in Dr. Califf.
  • Is There Only One Hold That Matters? An interesting analysis in Morning Consult suggests that only Murkowski’s hold matters, because Senate Majority Leader McConnell is unlikely to bring up the nomination if a fellow Republican objects. As to the others, their concerns may be addressed, but it will not affect Senator McConnell’s decision. Today’s Analysis and Commentary looks at the question: why does the Alliance track the confirmation process?

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