Skip to content

Advocacy at a Glance

May 31, 2019

House Appropriations To Move Quickly in June; Full-Committee Ag/FDA Mark-up on June 4. Almost without exception, appropriators are deeply committed to completion of the entire appropriations process by the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1. This is known as “regular order” appropriations and was last achieved a decade ago (explained here).

So, it is no surprise that House Democratic leadership, along with House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, have committed to an aggressive schedule for moving appropriations bills in June. On Tuesday, June 4 — the House’s first full day following recess — the full committee will mark up: further revisions to the 302(b) subcommittee allocations; the FY 20 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill; and the FY 20 Agriculture/FDA bill. Meantime, House Members have been told that appropriations bills will be brought to the floor starting on June 12 and that the votes are likely to take place after 7:00 p.m. for most funding bills.

Senate Appropriations Schedule Unknown, But Likely to Start in June. Senate Republican leadership would prefer not to start the appropriations process until there is budget agreement in place. This will require the concurrence of the Congress and the President and is viewed as politically difficult (see this week’s Analysis and Commentary). While we presume that discussions are ongoing and, of course, anything is possible, the consensus is that it will be late July or maybe September before agreement is reached. As a result, we expect that the Senate will start their appropriations process in June, with the intent to make adjustments later when agreement is reached.

What to Expect When the House Appropriations Committee Marks Up the FY 20 Ag/FDA Funding Bill. With the mark-up scheduled for Tuesday, June 4 at 10:30 a.m., events will start to unfold quickly next week.  Here is our best understanding of what to expect:

1. With regard to the bill text, the revised version of the subcommittee text should be available Monday. Final versions of adopted amendments should be available late Tuesday or Wednesday.

2. With regard to the mark-up, Ag/FDA is the third item on the agenda. If the first two items move quickly, Ag/FDA could be up within the first hour. If things run long, we would expect the committee to stay in session on Tuesday for as long as it takes to reach completion. As a general rule, the longer the mark-up takes, the more likely that Members will withdraw their amendments or reach agreements with the chair to negotiate a compromise later (i.e. in the time between the mark-up and floor consideration).

3. With regard to the committee report, a draft should circulate sometime on Monday, possibly very late in the day.

The mark-up may be shorter because the subcommittee text already includes some items that were debated in prior years (e.g., horse meat inspection, SNAP restrictions, etc.). Agriculture programs are most often the ones targeted by amendments, but FDA may also be the subject of amendments (e.g., possibilities include amendments affecting regulation of CBD/hemp, tobacco controls, and human genetics, etc.).

Best Case/Worst Case for FY 20 FDA Appropriations. As we go from the quiet of recess week to an extremely busy month in Congress, this week’s Analysis and Commentary looks at macro-budgetary obstacles that might endanger FDA’s FY 20 funding.

FDA-TRACK: A Valuable Tool for Monitoring FDA’s Performance. FDA-TRACK is part of the FDA’s performance management system and a valuable trove of information about status and progress for many FDA offices and initiatives. Recent news was that CDER had launched a redesigned web page. It provides the opportunity to remind readers that the FDA-TRACK program covers medical devices, biologics, tobacco, food, animal and veterinary, among other things.

Comments are closed.