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Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

Senate Appropriators Approve Subcommittee Allocations, FDA Spending Bill

May 23, 2014—The Senate Appropriations Committee May 22 approved discretionary spending limits for the fiscal year (FY) 2015 spending bills by a party-line 16-14 vote. The allocations – also known as 302(b) allocations – adhere to the overall $1.014 trillion discretionary top line established by the Bipartisan Budget Act, as well as the separate caps on defense and non-defense spending.

The committee provides $156.773 billion for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee, the same as the FY 2014 enacted level and $1.1 billion (0.7 percent) more than the House FY 2015 Labor-HHS allocation [see Washington Highlights, May 9, 2014].

Prior to the vote, Republicans on the committee criticized Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) for relying too heavily on budget “gimmicks,” such as Overseas Contingency Operation funds and changes in mandatory programs (ChIMPs) to provide more money under the caps. Chairwoman Mikulski defended her allocations, saying “I did not invent new money, and I did not invent new tools."

Chairwoman Mikulski said she plans to complete all 12 bills in the committee by July 10, adding that she has secured weeks of floor time in June and July to try to pass some of the bills before the August recess. The Labor-HHS Subcommittee reportedly may take up its bill in mid-June.

During the May 22 markup, the committee adopted the FY 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill, matching the House levels for VA medical care and research [see Washington Highlights, May 2].  The committee also approved by voice vote the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies spending bill, which provides $2.588 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a $36 million (1.4 percent) increase over the FY 2014 level.

Meanwhile, the House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee May 20 approved by voice vote its FY 2015 draft spending bill. According to the subcommittee’s summary, the bill provides $2.6 billion for the FDA, a $23 million increase over the FY 2014 level. The bill now awaits consideration by the full House Appropriations Committee.

Contact:

Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559
Email: dbmoore@aamc.org

Alexandra Khalife
Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-828-0418
Email: akhalife@aamc.org

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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.


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For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org