House subcommittee moves FDA $3.6B budget forward

Regulatory NewsRegulatory News | 15 June 2022 |  By 

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

Lawmakers in the House Appropriations agriculture subcommittee have sent their FY 2023 budget package that includes funding for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the full committee, proposing $3.6 billion in discretionary funding for the agency to address the opioid crisis, further research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), foreign inspections and more.
On 15 June the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies subcommittee approved the $27.2 billion budget package without any amendments to fund a number of initiatives such food programs, rural health broadband and US Department of Agriculture programs. It also includes a significant funding boost for FDA.
Full committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) touted the bill as an important measure that serves all consumers who use products are regulated by FDA. She said it provides the agency with resources to conduct domestic and foreign drug inspections while also ensuring the nation’s food safety, especially in light of the recent infant formula shortage. She also said the full committee will vote on the bill sometime next week.
“Because we recognize the dangerous gap and the need for FDA inspection staff, we are ensuring the FDA has the resources and the personnel to conduct inspections and thoroughly review infant formula applications and the manufacturing contracts,” said DeLauro.
DeLauro recently took FDA Commissioner Robert Califf to task for the agency’s inability to prevent the infant formula crisis. She argued the agency needs a deputy commissioner for food with direct line authority over its food safety center, authorities to initiate mandatory product recalls and to be able to compel companies to provide necessary information in the interest of the American public. (RELATED: Califf uses budget hearing to advocate for resources, authority to monitor supply chains, Regulatory Focus 19 May 2022)
While the budget measure passed by voice vote, it was clear that Republicans in the subcommittee were against the increased funding.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) said the 10% increase in funding for the FDA when compared to last year’s budget was "overwhelming and unnecessary." He said the infant formula crisis won’t be solved with more funding but rather it shows the need for stronger leadership at the agency.
“While there are many things to like about this bill, the total discretionary spending of $27.2 billion or an 8% increase over the previous year's funding does not acknowledge the economic reality that our nation faces,” said Harris. “As Americans, we're all too aware that inflation is soaring at a 40-year high of 8.6% and the US economy shrank by 1.5% last quarter.”


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