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Advocacy at a Glance

April 14, 2017

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 Lobby Day Will Be April 25. Please join us in delivering the message to appropriators, authorizers, and Congressional leaders: FDA resources (funding and personnel) must be sustained in order to serve the daily needs of the American people. RSVP to Priscilla Kasper.  If you can’t join us for the entire day, let us know what part of the day would work best for you. More details will be in next week’s Advocacy at a Glance.
  • Alliance Has Thoughtful Discussion with OMB.  The Alliance met with Joe Grogan, the OMB Health Program Associate Director (PAD), earlier this week. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to discuss FDA funding and personnel needs. We came away feeling that OMB understands the value of FDA and that the agency is not a primary target of the new Administration. However, it was also clear that OMB feels compelled to address deficit-related issues and that from their perspective no agency is immune from these pressures. We had a particularly positive discussion surrounding workforce issues at the FDA, and believe that OMB is willing to “hear us out” on the special needs FDA has to attract the best and brightest. We were clear in our concern that as an agency whose primary benefit is to the public, there needs to be a public commitment to funding the agency. More on our position and how the President’s proposal could result in a 37% decrease in FDA’s BA appropriations is here.
  • OMB Issues Latest Memorandum on Reducing Federal Employment and Reorganizing the Government. Under an OMB memorandum issued this week, federal agencies are directed to submit plans for how they will reduce their workforce to match the funding levels in the President’s “skinny budget” request. In response to questions about the impact on FDA, the Alliance issued the following comment:

The latest OMB memorandum is neither good nor bad for FDA, just the next logical step in the Administration’s goal of reducing federal spending and shrinking the federal workforce. We can be sure that certain parts will apply to FDA: looking for opportunities to be more efficient and effective and determining whether there are ways to organize the agency and its activities to provide better service to the American people. The applicability of other parts will need to be determined by FDA in coordination with HHS and OMB: whether there needs to be a plan to reduce the FDA workforce if the aggregate FDA budget is not scheduled for significant cuts (per the FY 18 “skinny budget”) and whether there are any remaining bars to FDA moving forward to fill its hundreds of vacancies.

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