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Advocacy at a Glance

March 19, 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.

  • Thank You to Participants — Alliance Capitol Hill Advocacy Day is a Success. More than 40 Alliance members participated in 53 meetings with authorizers and appropriators. For more about Hill Day, see this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • Another Important Opportunity on May 4. We’re going to be back on the Hill again in full force on May 4 — so mark your calendars. This will be our FDA 101 Day — a new tradition started last year. While we spend the first few months of the year meeting with appropriators and authorizers — congressional offices who have FDA in their jurisdiction — we’ve determined there is great value in educating a broader group of congressional offices about FDA’s important work. Please put a note on your calendar and join us!
  • House Budget Passes Committee with FY 17 Increase Intact; Future Steps Uncertain. The House Budget Committee adopted an FY 17 budget resolution. It leaves the Fall 2015 budget agreement in place, meaning that total FY 17 discretionary spending will be $30 billion higher than in FY 16. Beyond that, the budget resolution represents a detailed view of how House Republicans want to balance the federal budget over the next 10 years, including sharp discretionary cuts in non-defense spending. At week’s end, most commentators do not think the full House will take up the budget resolution this year. Regardless of next steps on the Budget bill, we expect the House appropriations subcommittees to start allocating funds when they return from Spring Break in April.
  • Senators Alexander and Murray Introduce FDA Personnel Bill. The bill would impact FDA hiring and recruitment practices, with provisions similar to those in H.R. 6, the House Cures bill. The legislation would also authorize establishment of inter-center institutes at FDA that would allow increased coordination among the drug, biologic, and device centers in major disease areas. Among other provisions, the bill would also make it easier for FDA employees to travel to scientific conferences. You can read the bill here.
  • Once Again — Food Industry Steps Up to the Plate! As occurred last year, major components of the food industry have sent a letter to appropriators in support of increased appropriations to enable FDA to implement important food safety work.
  • What Does Former Commissioner Hamburg Think? Former Commissioner Margaret Hamburg answered questions about advice she has given Dr. Califf and the challenges he faces. She also talks about some of the accomplishments during her tenure and why the FDA needs help with its advocacy — particularly the importance of congressional champions.

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