Posted 16 May 2017
By Zachary Brennan
Eleven Senate democrats sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Tuesday explaining how his proposed cuts in the FY 2018 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make implementation of the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act much more difficult.
"We urge you to listen to both sides of the aisle and drop any attempts to implement the damaging proposed cuts at HHS laid out in your budget," they wrote.
Trump’s budget blueprint for 2018 called for a major hike in US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user fees to make up for lost appropriations. But the Senate HELP committee recently moved forward with the negotiated plans for the next iteration of the user fee agreements without those suggested increases.
While noting a March memo from the Office of Management and Budget that calls for each agency by 30 June to reduce work forces in the near term, the senators wrote, "These actions may disrupt or eliminate programs critical to implementation of the law and run contrary to congressional intent to expand and strengthen the workforce at FDA."
They also said the 18% cut to HHS’ budget undermines additional resources from the Cures Act that are specifically designated for FDA’s expanding oversight and hiring authority to review new drugs and devices.