The fate of fiscal year 2017 (FY17) funding remains unclear. The current continuing resolution (CR) expires April 28, but there may be a short-term extension while appropriators try one final time to work out a hybrid CR-omnibus or “CRomnibus” bill. Our congressional champions have asked advocacy groups to keep pushing for the CRomnibus option, which is the only opportunity to secure increased, rather than flat, funding in FY17 for discretionary budget priorities. Regarding FY18, Research!America recently sent a letter to all Members of Congress urging them to support robust funding for NIH, CDC, FDA, NSF, and AHRQ.
President Trump is expected to release his 2017 “skinny” budget on March 14. In his joint address to Congress, the president discussed budget and policy priorities in general terms, including his hope for cures to illnesses, his desire to invest in women's health, and rebuild our infrastructure. We highlighted in our statement after the President’s Address to Congress that these priorities are why it’s necessary to assure that the FDA and other federal health agencies have the resources to turn his vision into a reality.
However, there have been statements in the news that the White House will request a $54 billion reduction in non-defense discretionary spending (NDD) and a commensurate increase in defense spending. A cut of that size to NDD would likely require significant across-the-board spending reductions. While we believe the current Congress will not abide this kind of reduction, the Majority will be pressured to meet the President somewhere in the middle. Research!America’s state-by-state and other fact sheets provide real world examples (mined from public and private sector driven innovation) of the enormous return on research investment.
Recently, key congressional leaders sent a bipartisan/bicameral letter reinforcing the critical importance of vaccines, as well as the rigorous safety and efficacy standards to which they must adhere. The letter represents the thinking of a majority of Americans-- roughly the same percentages among Republicans and Democrats-- who support a school-based vaccine requirement and agree with the scientific consensus underlying widespread use of the MMR vaccine.
On March 2, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee convened the first of a series of user fee hearings, this one focused on the biosimilar (BsUFA) and generic (GDUFA) user fee programs. The subcommittee plans to hold brandname prescription drug (PDUFA) and medical device (MDUFA) user fee hearings later this month.