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Advocacy at a Glance

October 6, 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 Passes FY 18 Budget Resolution; Differs from Senate Version. The House passed its FY 18 budget resolution this week, while the Senate advanced its budget resolution through committee. Both resolutions propose significant cuts to mandatory and discretionary programs over the next 10 years, although the House and Senate are far apart on how much should be cut and from what program. Also, the House is proposing deficit-neutral tax reform, while the Senate allows for tax reform to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

With regard to FY 18 discretionary spending, the House resolution tracks the House-passed Omnibus Appropriations bill: $72 billion above the budget caps for defense programs and $5 billion below for non-defense programs. The defense increases would require Congress to enact amendments to the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). In contrast, the Senate would have FY 18 spending stay at or under the budget caps.

This week’s Analysis and Commentary looks at why FDA funding advocates need to be concerned with how Congress resolves these global spending issues. One key is to understand what we call “the iron triangle of deficit reduction.”

  • Eric Hargan Confirmed as HHS Deputy Secretary.  On Wednesday of this week, the Senate confirmed Eric Hargan to be Deputy Secretary of HHS. Hargan previously served in senior positions at HHS in the George W. Bush Administration, and is considered an operations expert. Usually, the deputy secretary functions as a chief operating officer with limited public visibility, but a very large role within the department. With Secretary Price’s departure, it is speculated that Mr. Hargan will be appointed acting secretary and take on the more visible cabinet-level position until a new HHS secretary is nominated and confirmed.
  • Did You Know? Some Food Facts. FDA oversees 80% of our food supply, amounting to nearly $500 billion of domestic and imported foods. This is a massive responsibility that affects every American multiple times each day. Among other things, the Center for Food Safety and Nutrition is responsible for 377,000 registered food facilities (including approximately 154,000 domestic facilities and 223,000 foreign facilities).

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