National Consumers League

During the shutdown, House bill for selective relief of FDA is short sighted

92_ayannaBy Ayanna Johnson, Health Policy Associate The government shutdown continues to negatively impact the health and safety of Americans. Vital government agencies like the NIH, FDA, CDC, EPA, and others are operating with a much-reduced staff, endangering the public, not to mention the families of government workers who may not be able to pay their mortgage or bills. But don’t worry, Congress to the rescue!

On October 3, the House GOP introduced H.J. Res 77, the Food and Drug Administration Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, which passed four days later H.J. Res 77 singles out the Food and Drug Administration for funding during the partial government shutdown. This bill aims to provide funding to FDA to continue normal operations, but fails to provide the necessary funding for the other equally important government agencies. The republican approach of passing piecemeal legislation to address one small aspect of the government shutdown at a time does not adequately solve the problem.  As President Obama stated during his Tuesday press conference, these bills help agencies with high visibility but neglect others. With other patient and health advocates, NCL signed on to a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Leader Nancy Pelosi expressing concern with this proposed legislation. While we do believe FDA to be an essential government agency, we cannot support this approach by the House GOP. Click on the link below for the full letter. Health coalition opposed to H.J. Res 77