Chairman Bishop Statement at Hearing on Status of Operations at FDA

2019-02-27 15:00

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 "Food and Drug Administration – Status of Operations":

Good afternoon. I want to welcome everyone to today’s hearing, our first in the 116th Congress.

Before we get underway, I would like to personally welcome all the returning members to the subcommittee and our new members: Ms. Lee of California, Ms. McCollum of Minnesota, Mr. Cuellar of Texas, Ranking Member Fortenberry of Nebraska, and Mr. Moolenaar of Michigan. 

I would also like to thank Mr. Aderholt for his work on this subcommittee, serving as the Chairman for the previous six years. 

I look forward to working with all of you in a productive and bipartisan manner. 

I also want to thank Commissioner Gottlieb for allowing us to start the hearing an hour later.  We are very appreciative of your flexibility.

The work of this subcommittee touches the lives of every citizen on a daily basis, as we have said so often. Many do not recognize the far reaching jurisdictions and programs this subcommittee addresses – a little bit of everything from food safety to agriculture research to drug approval to rural development to protecting market integrity through the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.     

Part of our efforts include providing necessary resources to the Food and Drug Administration, which plays a critical role in the lives of every American.  In addition, we have a duty to make sure those resources are put to the best possible use by the agency.

With that, I would like to welcome our witness, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.  We are delighted to see you.

Today we wish to discuss the status of operations at the Food and Drug Administration, including impacts and recovery from the longest and most pointless shutdown in U.S. history.   

Before we begin, I would like to thank you and your committed employees for your efforts during the shutdown, many of them working without pay.

While the full impacts from the shutdown will not be known for some time, there are undoubtedly accrued backlogs of inspections, delayed drug and medical device reviews and potentially exhausted pools of user fees as a result of the shutdown.  We look forward to hearing the processes put into place to work through these backlogs as efficiently as possible and other efforts to return to more standard operations.

Again, I want to thank you for being with us today, and I look forward to today’s discussion.

116th Congress