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Advocacy at a Glance

July 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.

  • House Appropriations Committee Advances FY 18 Ag/FDA Funding Bill; Sets Up Preliminary Subcommittee Allocations.  On a voice vote, the House Appropriations Committee passed a $20 billion Agriculture appropriations bill. Under the bill, FDA’s budget authority (BA) funding level will be $2.76 billion, the same as FY 17. In addition, the committee appropriated $60 million to fund FDA’s FY 18 activities to implement certain provisions of the 21st Century Cures legislation. The bill also appropriated FY 18 user fee funds at the same levels contained in the Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Act (FDARA), which passed the House this week and should be taken up by the Senate within the next few weeks. The House report is here and the FDA portion is on pages 69-76.

The House Appropriations committee also adopted subcommittee allocations and the newly-passed Ag/FDA appropriations bill is within the limits set for the subcommittee. While this represents progress, there are a number of ways in which FDA’s budget could end up below the House committee level and those are discussed in this week’s Analysis and Commentary.

  • Senate Appropriations Committee Starts Marking-up Bills. The Senate committee marked-up and adopted the FY 18 Military Construction/VA appropriations bill. Mil-con/VA is always considered the easiest of the 12 funding bills, so its passage is not always a sign that more mark-ups are coming. We are hopeful.
  • FDA Announces Plans for Spending the 10-year, $500 million Fund Set Up By 21st Century Cures. Under the terms of the 21st Century Cures legislation, enacted in December 2016, FDA was responsible for providing Congress with a work plan and budget for spending the $500 million fund that will be allotted to FDA in annual increments over 10 years. FDA has now released that plan.
  • FDA Starts FY 19 Budget Planning Long Before FY 18 Process is Completed. OMB has now issued instructions for federal agencies to begin planning for the President’s FY 19 Budget Request, which presumably will be released in early February 2018. Agencies are directed to start with the FY 19 line in this year’s budget request, then find additional ways to further consolidate and reorganize government to drive the budget lower.
  • Ladd Wiley Continues as Executive Director, Moves to Boutique Law Firm. Ladd Wiley, the Alliance’s executive director, has moved to the law firm of Olsson, Frank and Weeda (OFW Law), which is based at the Watergate in Washington. He can be reached at a new e-mail address (lwiley@ofwlaw.com) but his phone number remains as (202) 549-3595. Some other changes accompany the move. Eden Shiferaw will be coordinating the Alliance’s grassroots activities and other administrative matters. We also will have additional lobbying help from Roger R. Szemraj, who has served several Members of the House Appropriations Committee. Steven Grossman will continue as the Alliance’s Deputy Executive Director.

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