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Advocacy at a Glance

March 23, 2018

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.

  • Congress Unveils Final FY 18 Consolidated Appropriations Bill; FDA Funding Increased. The House and Senate approved the FY 18 Consolidated Appropriations Act this week before a shut-down could occur. The bill incorporates a prior budget agreement for FY 18 and FY 19, which increased defense spending ceilings by $80 billion dollars and non-defense spending ceilings by $63 billion. As of Friday morning, President Trump has threatened a veto, so the final outcome is undetermined.

FDA has come a long way in the FY 18 process. Last year, the Administration proposed that user fees be dramatically increased and replace hundreds of millions of dollars of BA (taxpayer-funded) appropriations. Ultimately, Congress rejected that approach. Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, FDA will receive an increase of $40 million in BA funding in FY 18 and another $94 million to address the opioid crisis. This is discussed more fully in today’s Analysis and Commentary, which also includes a chart showing new FY 18 funding levels by center, compared to prior years (see item 1).

  • Important Opportunities for FDA in the FY 19 Appropriations Process. Along with Congress, the Alliance will now put its full energies into the FY 19 appropriations cycle. With the Administration having requested a $473 million increase for the agency, we are optimistic that our efforts can contribute to the FDA receiving a large bump in FY 19. The Alliance’s “ask” is summarized in today’s Analysis and Commentary (see item 2) and is described in more detail here.

We urge Alliance members to convey the Alliance “ask” to Congress as part of the process by which the appropriations committees take testimony from outside witnesses. The Senate deadline is March 30, directions here; the House deadline is April 13, directions here. If you would like to see the Alliance’s statement prior to submitting your own, contact Steven Grossman by e-mail. He will have copies to share early next week.

  • Next Stage of Long-Term Planning for Possible White Oak Expansion.  As we described last year (here), the General Services Administration (GSA) and FDA are looking at future use of the White Oak Campus — with options that range from no changes to the possibility of new construction and up to 18,000 employees on campus.  A draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has now been released and is open for public comments until April 16.
  • Congress Starts Two-Week Recess; No Friday Update on March 30. As soon as Congress finishes the FY 18 Consolidated Appropriations Act, both houses will be in recess for 2 weeks. They will return the week of April 9. Accordingly, the Friday Update will not publish next Friday and the next update will be on Friday, April 6.

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