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Advocacy at a Glance

October 20, 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.

  • Senate Budget Approves Amended FY 18 Budget Resolution; House Expected to Accept Senate Version. On October 19, the Senate passed an amended version of the FY 18 budget resolution that aligns the House and Senate versions and avoids the need for a conference committee. The Senate version is largely the same as the House-passed resolution except that it eliminates the House’s proposed $200 billion in mandatory program cuts and inserts the Senate proposal for tax reform that allows for deficit spending of $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

With regard to FY 18 discretionary spending, the Senate incorporated the House’s numbers: $72 billion above the budget caps for defense programs and $5 billion below for non-defense programs. The defense increases will require Congress to enact amendments to the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) and some Members of Congress are likely to press for increases in non-defense spending at the same time. We previously explored why the budget debate matters to the appropriations process, as well as to FDA specifically.

  • This Week’s Analysis and Commentary, Entitled “Not Your Father’s FDA,” Explores Changes and Growth at the FDA.  We are in a time period of amazing innovation in the medical product area. As an organization that carefully follows developments at FDA, there is a tangible sense of excitement in the stakeholder community regarding the opportunities to truly advance science at the FDA and FDA’s willingness to embrace those opportunities. In today’s column, Alliance deputy executive director, Steven Grossman takes a closer look at this unique time in FDA’s history.
  • Speculation that Alex Azar Will Be Nominated for HHS Secretary. With Secretary Price’s departure, Eric Hargan, newly confirmed HHS deputy secretary, is serving as acting Secretary. There was widespread speculation this week that the President is considering Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary. Mr. Azar served at HHS during the George W. Bush administration, first as General Counsel and then later as Deputy Secretary.  Mr. Azar has deep familiarity with the FDA from his time at the Department.

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