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FY 21 Appropriation: Qs&As

July 26, 2020

Q: You have repeatedly referenced how tight the budget situation was this year (here). How did this play out for Ag/FDA funding?

A: The Ag/FDA subcommittee allotment reflected the overall tightness of the budget situation and provided little money for increases or new program initiatives. The subcommittee bill that became part of the H.R. 7608 minibus featured discretionary budget spending totaling $24.3 billion. The breakout of how that is to be spent is contained in this fact sheet and reflects the subcommittee’s concerns about immediate pandemic-related problems in the rural economy, feeding programs, and the food supply.

In a statement at the time of the committee mark-up, the Alliance thanked the committee

for its continuing support of the resources FDA needs to meet its expanding responsibilities. We view the proposed $41 million increase in FY 21 as a vote of confidence in the agency, given the severe budgetary constraints for all federal programs. We believe the FDA will still need more resources in the coming fiscal year to fulfill its mission and we will continue to work with Congress to achieve that end.

Q: What are the consequences for FDA if the agency begins the fiscal year (October 1) with funding from a Continuing Resolution?

A: The consequences of a CR are severe, even though they may be temporary. The FDA would need to carry out its programs using the FY 20 (prior year) funding levels, without the increased monies proposed for FY 21 by the House. Further, FDA would be limited in its ability to start new initiatives (variously defined) for as long as it is on CR funding. Last (but hardly least), CRs create uncertainty, which makes program and personnel planning difficult.

Q: What is the status of monies that FDA has been receiving under the 21st Century Cures Act?

A: The House bill, H.R. 7608, provides FDA with $70 million to fulfill medical product development goals set by the 21st Century Cures Act legislation. Because the monies are derived from savings in mandatory programs, these funds must be appropriated but do not count against any discretionary budget ceilings. To reflect this distinction, these funds are in a separate section that comes after the main FDA appropriation of taxpayer and user fee funds.

Editorial note: The Analysis and Commentary section is written by Steven Grossman, Deputy Executive Director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

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