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Advocacy at a Glance

May 4, 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 Returns May 7; Starts 11-Week Sprint to August Recess. Congress will be in session for 3 weeks in May, 4 weeks in June, and 3 to 4 weeks in July. The general presumption is that there will be little legislative action between the long August recess and Election Day. So, if appropriations bills are going to pass before the new fiscal year on October 1, then the appropriations committees and House and Senate leadership will have to move quickly. This is discussed in more detail under the subhead “Appropriations Schedule is Accelerating” in last week’s Advocacy at a Glance.

With specific regard to the Ag/FDA appropriations bills, Dr. Gottlieb testified before the House (see here) and before the Senate (see here) in April, but the Ag/FDA subcommittee mark-ups have not yet been scheduled.

  • The Alliance’s Request for FY 19 FDA Funding. For our Hill visits on Advocacy Day, April 25, we tried to provide a short, clear and complete articulation of the Alliance’s Ask. Here is what we told House and Senate staff:
    • The Alliances “ask” for FDA for FY19: at least $3.294 billion in BA funding broken out as follows:
      •  $2.812 billion (FY 18 final BA appropriations for FDA)
      • + $432 million (funds associated with new programs in the President’s request,
      • + $50 million in additional food safety funding (Alliance request not the President’s)
    • Plus … monies set aside for 21st Century Cures initiatives:
      • $70 million in 21st Century Cures funds (pre-funded from offsets in mandatory programs)

For more detail and discussion, see this week’s Analysis and Commentary.

  • The Alliance Also Cares About Staffing Levels. Beyond funding, the Alliance is concerned about FDA staffing levels. More than 80% of the FDA’s budget is devoted to people-costs (salaries, benefits, rent, IT, training, travel, etc.) Thus, FDA’s ability to function effectively is directly tied to having sufficient personnel and the ability to recruit well-trained, often highly technical staff.

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