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Advocacy at a Glance

May 25, 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.

  • Senate Appropriators Move FY 19 Ag/FDA Bill Forward. The Senate Appropriations committee passed the FY 19 Ag/FDA bill this week, providing FDA with $2.970 billion in budget authority (BA) funding. The proposed increase of $159 million would mostly go to medical product initiatives and the opioid crisis, with food safety programs gaining $15.5 million. More details will be available when the bill text and committee report are released. The Alliance thanks Subcommittee Chairman John Hoeven, Ranking Member Jeff Merkley, other appropriators, and staff for acknowledging the opportunities for FDA to provide added value to the American people.

The Senate Committee intends to finish all 12 appropriations bills by the end of June, giving them enough time to pass many or most before the new fiscal year begins on October. To accommodate a tight Senate floor schedule, there has been some talk of putting three appropriations bills together in a single (mini-bus) bill. While details may differ slightly, the House is also considering moving bills forward by creating mini-bus legislation. The President has already announced that he would veto an omnibus bill should Congress again decide to put all 12 bills into a single vehicle.

  • How Do the House and Senate Committee Bills Differ?  So far, the House and Senate have both shown support for the agency, but at different levels and with somewhat different priorities. Specifically:
    • $259.5 million of the House-proposed increase of $308 million in budget authority (BA) spending is for medical product initiatives. Additionally, $30 million would go to programs to address opioids and another $20 million is aimed at infrastructure development and White Oak expansion. There is a $2 million offset from elsewhere in the FDA budget.
    • $88.5 million of the Senate-proposed increase of $159 million in BA spending is for medical product initiatives. Additionally, $59 million would pay for opioid programs and $15.5 million for food safety initiatives. The food increases would go for FSMA cooperative agreements with states, food import safety, food safety outbreaks and testing antibiotic resistance in imported seafood. There is a $4 million offset from elsewhere in the FDA budget.

The comparison in this week’s Analysis and Commentary (see also this link) is based on the Administration’s proposed medical product initiatives and how each would fare under the House and Senate bills. Note that the House would provide some level of finding for all nine; the Senate would provide funding for six.

 

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