Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA), Chair of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Food and Drug Administration budget request for fiscal year 2020:
The Subcommittee will come to order.
I want to welcome all of you to today’s hearing. Our primary objective this morning is to examine the Food and Drug Administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget request. Our witness is the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
Commissioner, welcome back.
I remember well your first appearance before the subcommittee – I think you had only been in office a few weeks then?
And now, you appear before us with, unfortunately, only a few days left in your service at FDA.
I speak for many when I say you have been a fierce advocate for public health, tackling critical issues such as reducing youth tobacco use, addressing the opioid epidemic, reducing drug prices, and approving generic drugs. You have taken on these issues during a time of sharp partisan divides on many issues and yet, you have earned broad bi-partisan respect.
It has always been a pleasure to have you here and I wish you the best in your future endeavors and hope you enjoy spending time with your family back in Connecticut. Your efforts and leadership as Commissioner are greatly appreciated.
Prior to your departure we are going to take one last opportunity to discuss the impacts of your fiscal year 2020 budget request.
As in past years, FDA’s request is in stark contrast to much of the Federal government. Many administration officials have appeared in the recent weeks defending steep cuts in their budget.
That is not the case here. Your request totals $6.1 billion, an increase of seven percent from fiscal year 2019. The increases include nearly $176 million in budget authority and $241 million in user fees. These additional resources are on top of a significant increase in FY 2019.
On the medical product safety side of the agency, you are requesting $254 million more than last year’s enacted level, an increase of over 7 percent. For the food side of the agency, the FDA is requesting nearly an additional $56 million, an increase of 4%.
I should also note that you are requesting authority to increase tobacco user fees by $100 million from the e-cigarette industry.
A quick note that my colleagues may or may not appreciate – my staff says there are scores of hits on the FDA website for the phrase “Economic Research Service”! Many of them are citations of ERS research in FDA documents.
Again, I want to thank you for being with us today, and I look forward to today’s discussion.
Now, let me ask our distinguished Ranking Member, Mr. Fortenberry, if he has any opening remarks.