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Alliance Working Hard on BA Appropriation for FY 22

March 27, 2021

The annual appropriations cycle is a multi-step process that starts with the President’s Budget Request (usually during the second week of February) and usually ends later in the same calendar year with the passage of funding bills by Congress and their signature by the President. A lot happens in between — some of it is process, some of it political, much of it substantive as Congress allocates $1.5 trillion worth of program monies.

This year (as with the first year of any new administration), the process is further complicated by the delay in receiving the President’s Budget Request. In such years, a so-called “skinny budget” comes out between late February and early April, then the full request with all the details comes out in May. Consequently, the House Appropriations Agriculture-FDA Subcommittee has revised its member submission deadline to April 29. The Senate has not yet announced a deadline.

As Hill staff often remind us: both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees need to hear from other Representatives and Senators to help them develop their own budget recommendations. It helps FDA’s cause greatly if these other Representatives and Senators hear from Alliance members. The message needs to be clear: FDA oversees products that represent 20% of consumer spending in the US. It is also the federal agency that is most affected by changes in science, technology, innovation, and social trends.
Individual Representatives and Senators set their own internal deadlines for receiving requests from constituents and other interested parties. By necessity, these deadlines are earlier than those established by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees. This permits individual members time to review what is being asked of them, and what they, in turn, want to send to the subcommittees.

The Alliance has been busy contacting multiple House and Senate offices to share with them our top-line perspective, even though we do not yet have the President’s budget and cannot speak to a precise dollar amount. We have told each office that the Alliance for a Stronger FDA supports increased budget authority (BA) appropriations for the FDA, with an emphasis on the need to invest in better IT and data systems to help the agency with its increasing regulatory responsibilities. Support is needed for further improvements in food safety (e.g., FSMA and the agency’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety) and adoption of new science in medical products (e.g., cell and gene therapy, real-world evidence, and digital health). When we have the President’s request, we will analyze it and determine the amount the Alliance will recommend for specific priorities.

We hope you will use those recommendations in contacting Representatives and Senators to reinforce the Alliance’s request.

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

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