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Advocacy at a Glance

June 1, 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.

  • Recess Week Becomes a Busy June for Appropriations?  House and Senate leadership hope to finish the appropriations process well before October. Since such “regular-order appropriations” have not occurred in a number of years, we thought readers might appreciate this visual description. (Please ignore whatever ad Roll Call places before the short podcast.)

Speaker Ryan expects to take up the first of the FY 19 appropriations bills in early June. This will be a minibus bill combining FY 19 funding for Energy and Water programs, the Legislative Branch and Military Construction/VA. On the Senate side, Majority Leader McConnell has endorsed doing minibuses of two or three bills each. The Senate is likely to wait for the House, although it doesn’t have to.

  • Ag/FDA Appropriations Likely to Move Early. The House usually considers appropriations bills in order of difficulty, with Ag/FDA usually the fourth, fifth, or sixth to be taken up. If this pattern continues — as seems likely — then the Ag/FDA bill could be in the second minibus and might be considered sometime in June. It is unclear whether the Senate will negotiate a final bill with the House before Senate passage or during a conference committee. One potential barrier to the reconciliation of the two bills is that the House and Senate Ag/FDA appropriations committees were given different aggregate spending ceilings. For discussion of the differences in proposed FDA spending between the House and Senate bills, see this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • 21st Century Cures Funding in Both House and Senate Bills. The 21st Century Cures legislation created a type of trust fund to pay for certain FDA mandates and programs created by the Act. The funding for FDA (along with a larger amount devoted to NIH) is paid for by the savings from a change in mandatory spending. Both the House and Senate Ag/FDA appropriations bills moving through Congress have $70 million for FY 19 Cures programs, the maximum allowed. Because the 21st Century Cures funding does not count against the spending ceilings, it is not considered budget authority appropriations and always appears in our charts separately from BA and user fee funding.

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