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Advocacy at a Glance

July 24, 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.

  • House Passes Mini-bus of Interior-Environment and Financial Services Spending; Ag/FDA Likely in September. This week, the House passed the next mini-bus appropriations bill, combining spending for Interior and Environment programs and Financial Services programs. With only one week left before the House recesses for August, there are rumors that the House may consider DOD/L-HHS spending in a mini-bus before they leave. No final decisions have been made. In any case, this means that the earliest the House could consider Ag/FDA appropriations would be when they return on September 4. That leaves them only 11 legislative days to act before the fiscal year ends on September 30.
  • Senate May Consider Ag/FDA in Next Mini-bus; Extended Session Makes August Action Possible. There are unconfirmed rumors that when the Interior/Environment/Financial Services appropriations mini-bus bill comes over from the House, the Senate will consider amendments to add two more appropriations bills to it. If so, Ag/FDA is a strong possibility to be included. The Senate calendar allows for the possibility that by this means, or in another mini-bus, Ag/FDA appropriations may be done before Labor Day. The Senate always planned to work later than the House, until August 3. They will then take the following week off and re-convene on August 13 and work for the remaining 3 weeks of August that were originally planned to be recess. While this is the current plan, things may change again before the time comes.
  • Potential Threats to the FDA Workforce: Many More Questions Than Answers.Given that 80% of the FDA budget is devoted to people-related costs (salary, benefits, rent, training, travel, IT, etc.), the agency’s ability to fulfill its mission requires both strong funding and strong supportive personnel policies. Accordingly, the Alliance has long espoused the need for the Administration, Congress, and the stakeholder community to support the FDA workforce. On a number of occasions, the Friday Update has discussed how to ensure an effective and motivated FDA workforce and why FDA and its people need our support. While things have been going well on this front — in particular HHS and OMB are very supportive of the agency and respectful of its personnel needs — there are some potential dark clouds on the horizon. This week’s Analysis and Commentary explores this topic.

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