Advocacy at a Glance
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.
- President Proposes Shifting $54 Billion from Domestic to Defense Programs in FY 18. The President’s proposal, unveiled in a speech to Congress on February 28, calls for an approximate 10% increase for defense programs and an approximate 10% cut for non-defense discretionary programs. At this point we have no indication how FDA would be treated in the President’s proposal. However, for reference purposes, a 10% cut in FDA’s appropriation would mean a loss of $272 million in program funds and take FDA back to approximately its FY 2012 level.
A number of non-defense programs are likely to be protected in the President’s proposal, such as veterans’ programs and border security. Thus, to pay for the defense build-up, the President’s proposal could well include cuts for non-protected programs that are closer to 12-14%. The percentage could be even higher if the President proposes that non-defense programs be cut further in order to pay for proposed new initiatives, such as the border wall or rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.
- Congress Has Final Say on Appropriations; FDA Stakeholders Should Be Very Concerned, But Not Panicked. What the President described is just a general proposal, to be fleshed out with more details when he sends his budget outline to Congress in mid-March and his complete budget proposal in late April or May. Congress will make the final decisions. However, regardless of the actual numbers in the President proposal, the tone and direction threatens FDA’s appropriation and the agency is at risk. We need to advocate for FDA to be one of those protected programs that are not subject to a 10-15% cut because they are considered a national priority. For a further analysis of how Congress and the President might proceed and the potential impacts on FDA, see this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
- Updates on Issues We’ve Previously Covered. With Congress’ return from recess and the President’s budget proposal, it was a quiet week on other FDA-related issues we’ve been tracking. For more on the possible impact on FDA of regulatory reform and hiring freezes, refer to last week’s Advocacy at a Glance.