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President’s Budget Preview for FY 22

April 12, 2021

The President’s budget preview was released last Friday morning. It is very short (58 pages) and lacks details on most of the $1.5 trillion that is proposed. Later this spring, the Administration will release the full President’s Budget request, which will present “a unified, comprehensive plan to address the overlapping challenges we face in a fiscally and economically responsible way.”

The Deputy Director of OMB, on a call on Friday, emphasized that FY 22 was the first year in a decade that is not encumbered by “overly restrictive budget caps.” In the aggregate, the preview proposes a 16% increase in nondefense discretionary spending. She noted that this came to $769 billion, which is consistent with the historic level of 3.3% GDP.

As discussed in Friday morning’s Friday Update (see here and here), we did not expect the budget preview to contain much information on FDA. In fact, there turned out to be only one reference to FDA (on page 11):

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The discretionary request proposes $905 million for ASPR’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to maintain replenishment of critical medical supplies and restructuring efforts initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Administration would ensure SNS investments position the Nation to respond to the most likely chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats as opposed to simply restocking expired materiel. In addition, the Administration would make investments to enhance FDA’s organizational capacity.​

In sum, the overall budget preview doesn’t tell us anything about FDA’s situation, even in this one area.

Major new investments in FDA are justified and we are hopeful that will be reflected in the full budget request. Until that document is released, the answer to virtually all budget questions will fall into the category of “not enough information to know or even knowledgeably speculate.”

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