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Advocacy at a Glance

June 30, 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.

  • FY 18 Ag/FDA Appropriations Bill Advances in House Subcommittee; BA Funding Stays Level with FY 17.  The House subcommittee proposes to continue FDA’s budget authority (BA) appropriation at the FY 17 levels and adopts user fee funding consistent with the user fee reauthorization legislation (FDARA) moving through Congress now. Given the overall funding environment (poor) and the President’s budget request for FDA (potentially devastating), the Alliance was pleased that the subcommittee focused on the importance of FDA as a core function of government and did not propose any cuts. Our media release is can be reviewed here. This week’s Analysis and Commentary puts the House subcommittee mark in perspective and explains why FDA funding is still at-risk.
  • House Budget Committee Struggles to Pass FY 18 Budget Resolution. The committee is the front-line in the decision whether Congress uses the defense and non-defense budget caps currently in law or moves to increase defense spending and reduce non-defense spending. The last we heard, the deal they are discussing would further reduce the spending on non-defense spending by at least $5 billion. This is discussed further in this week’s Analysis and Commentary as one of the ways in which the budget authority (BA) appropriation for FDA might be reduced later in the appropriations process.
  • CURES Funding and Transfer of Oncology Center of Excellence Monies Included in House Appropriations Bill.  The subcommittee bill appropriates $60 million in monies set-aside in the “21st Century Cures” legislation for implementation of specific sections of the Act. While the money comes from savings from mandatory programs and does not count against the non-defense budget cap, the funds still have to be appropriated each year. In addition, the bill contains a technical fix so that NIH can transfer, as intended by Congress, CURES monies to FDA to support the Oncology Center of Excellence.
  • User fees in House Appropriations Bill Consistent With FDARA Numbers. Often, appropriations committees do not include expiring programs in their appropriations bills. The money is reserved, but not actually appropriated until the program is reauthorized. Fortunately, the House Ag/FDA subcommittee took the opposite approach and included user fees in their bill (thus assuming eventual passage of FDARA). The subcommittee numbers are the ones in FDARA, although adjusted to account for workload, inflation, etc. to the extent required by the legislation.
  • “Budget Authority by Center” Can Be Estimated, But Won’t be Precise Until the House Committee Report is Released. Several Alliance members have asked why we didn’t produce our usual table showing the amount of BA funding applied to each Center and major budget line. For the moment, we lack the information needed to do this and are unlikely to have it before the committee report is released. Once the Committee Report is released, we will distribute the usual tables with multi-year comparisons. Since the House is proposing to give FDA exactly the same total amount of BA funds in FY 18 as it did in FY 17, our working assumption is that the Centers and major budget lines will be similar in FY 18 to what they were in FY 17. The FY 17 BA numbers by Center are on pages 28 and 29 of the FY 17 Omnibus report.
  • Our Next “Friday Update” Will Be Issued on July 14. With Congress and most of our readers celebrating Fourth of July next week, there will be no Advocacy at a Glance or Analysis and Commentary on July 7. We will resume on July 14.  While these news services will be taking a short hiatus, the Alliance will not. If you have questions, concerns, or ideas over the next 2 weeks, please let us know.

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