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Advocacy at a Glance

March 8, 2019

President’s FY 20 Budget Request (Skinny Version) to Be Released Week of March 11. Because of the shutdown, the President’s FY 2020 Budget Request is being released late. Further, the Request will be released in two parts: a “skinny” version the week of March 11, and the full Request the week of March 18. We know from past experiences that the “headline” number for FDA will be far better than the reality. For example, proposed new user fees are counted in the total, regardless of their likelihood of being adopted by Congress. The Alliance will provide information to our members as soon as we can report accurately on what is being proposed. Meantime, we urge you to read this week’s Analysis and Commentary, which discusses the ways in which the headline number is inflated and otherwise inaccurate and unreliable.

ACTION ITEM: Send Your Appropriations Request Letters. Deadlines Near. This is the time of year when appropriations committee members (House and Senate) solicit input from other Members and stakeholders about programs that need better funding. The Alliance will be submitting comments to most of these Members and urges you to do so as well. Our position, as well as further directions are here

We have compiled a list of Members of our authorizing and appropriations committees who have posted information on how to comment and deadlines for submissions. Some have forms, others just want a brief statement. We will keep this list updated with additional offices and changes (if any) in deadlines. For more information, contact Roger Szemraj.

Commissioner Gottlieb to Leave Agency. In an unexpected turn of events, Dr. Gottlieb has resigned as Commissioner, effective in early April. In response to media inquiries about his resignation, the Alliance released the following statement:

Commissioner Gottlieb was an extraordinarily productive Commissioner, and worked hard to advance the public health. He has been a strong advocate for FDA and for the resources needed by the agency to fulfill its enormous global responsibilities. Multiple times each day, Americans use products overseen by the FDA, such as food, prescription drugs and biologics, medical devices, vaccines, and more. Keeping the agency strong is vital to our national health and security. Dr. Gottlieb will be greatly missed, and can take great pride in his accomplishments.

ACTION ITEM: We Need YOU to Participate in Alliance Hill Day on March 19. On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the Alliance will be on Capitol Hill for our Annual Hill Day. While we meet with Congress year-round, this is the day we strive for the largest number of participants and meetings, so that we can help educate Congress about the mission of FDA and the importance of it being well-funded. We have more than 40 meetings scheduled already, with more coming in. We want to see you there! If you can attend, RSVP and let us know your availability (all day, morning, afternoon). Please direct any questions to Samantha Beard.

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