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Advocacy at a Glance

September 1, 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.

  • Starting September 5, A Busy and Consequential Month for Congress. As discussed in a prior Analysis and Commentary (here), Congress needs to address FY 18 appropriations, increase the debt ceiling, adopt FY 18 budget resolutions, and amend the Budget Control Act (BCA). All are consequential. Without appropriations or a Continuing Resolution, there could be a government shutdown. Without debt ceiling relief, the US government could default on its obligations. Without budget resolutions, the Senate will not be able to proceed with tax or health reform without 60 vote majorities. Without an amendment to the BCA, large FY 18 defense increases passed by the House will be substantially reduced by sequestration and non-defense programs are likely to be squeezed as well.
  • First Out of the Gate: House to Consider Appropriations Bill Funding Non-Defense Programs. The House Rules Committee is expected to meet next week to decide on floor consideration of the so-called “mega-bus” legislation that wraps together the eight non-defense appropriations bills upon which the House has not yet voted. Hundreds of amendments have been filed, but only a limited number will be voted on by the House. Assuming completion by the House, the Senate will then decide whether to act on the mega-bus, as well as the House’s previously passed “mini-bus” bill incorporating defense, VA, military construction, and energy and water programs.
  • Alliance Plans to Be on the Hill on September 19th; Please Join Us and Hold the Date on Your Calendar. Authorizers and appropriators have made FDA a priority, as reflected in the House and Senate Ag/FDA appropriations bills, as well as in FDARA and Cures. Significant challenges still remain (see the answer to question 2) and FDA’s responsibilities keep growing, so we need to thank Members of Congress and encourage their continued support for FDA. More details on Hill Day will be forthcoming; meantime, please let Eden know if you plan to participate. If you can’t join for the full day, consider attending a few meetings or commit to a half-day.
  • Under Consideration: Long-term Employee Consolidation Plans at White Oak. As the Alliance often emphasizes, FDA’s ability to fulfill its mission is tied to its workforce. More than 80% of the agency’s budget supports staff (salary, benefits, rent, IT, travel, training, etc.). So, it is heartening that efforts are under way to update the long-term space needs of the agency and particularly what steps will be needed to further consolidate activities at White Oak. Accordingly, GSA has announced that they will be: (1) doing an environmental impact statement on expanding the campus’ capacity to 18,000 employees over the next 15 years, and (2) receiving input at an open forum on the evening of September 12.
  • Reminder: Please Put Alliance Dues In Your Organization’s 2018 Budget Plan. If you need more information, please let Eden know.

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