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Advocacy at a Glance

June 8, 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.

  • Ag/FDA Funding Likely to Reach House, then Senate Floor as Part of a Mini-bus. As reported below, the House has started on the first mini-bus and is presumed to be starting to package others for consideration during June and July. Based on past history — Ag/FDA is usually the fourth, fifth, or sixth appropriations bill brought to the House floor — we believe that Ag/FDA is likely to be in the next bill. However, that may not be the case if the House leadership decides that some other bills might be better to move first.
  • Alliance Sign-off Letter to Circulate for Signatures Next Week. With such a big difference between the House and Senate FY 19 funding levels, the Alliance is committed to FDA receiving the highest level of funding that covers all of its needs. For the most part, the higher levels are in the House bill, but we are also advocates for the food safety funding and larger increase in monies for opioid programs that are in the Senate bill. While we continue to talk with appropriators, this is a situation in which a community letter would be particularly valuable. Please keep your eyes out for our sign-on effort next week. A preview of our position is in this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • House Considering First Appropriations Bill. House Approves First Appropriations Bill. House leadership and appropriators packaged a mini-bus from three funding bills that had passed from committee. The House Rules Committee set the limits of the House floor debate: 50 Energy-Water amendments, 22 Military Construction-VA amendments, and seven Legislative Branch amendments. Debate began on Thursday this week and the House today approved the bill by a vote of 235 to 179. Reportedly, Democrats voted against the bill because it contains unacceptable policy riders. Some House conservatives had threatened to vote “No” because the legislation is significantly above the President’s request.
  • FDA/USDA Vow to Work More Closely. This week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and USDA Secretary Sonny Purdue agreed on a series of steps to bring the agencies into greater coordination. Their goal is to eliminate inefficiencies from overlapping food jurisdiction. As reported, the initial efforts are intended to harmonize their audits of produce facilities. Additional items are likely to be added in the months ahead.

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