Senate, House propose FDA budget increase with bill approval

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FDA gets proposed budget increase. Source:  

The House and Senate have approved similar $3 trillion fiscal year 2009 budget resolutions that would increase spending for healthcare and other domestic programs including a $71 million increase for the FDA, which brings the agency’s potential increase over its 2008 budget to $375 million.

The House budget resolution, which passed in a 212-207 vote, exceeds the amount that President George W. Bush requested for discretionary domestic spending by $25.4 billion. The Senate budget resolution, which passed on a 51-44 vote, exceeds the amount that he requested by $21.8 billion, according to CQ Today. In addition, both budget resolutions do not include $196 billion in spending reductions for Medicare and Medicaid that Bush requested.

The FDA budget increase, inserted by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, would expand the agency’s 2009 budget by the amount recommended by former members of the FDA Science Board’s Subcommittee on Science and Technology, reported FDA News. The two resolutions must be compared and reconciled in a conference committee.

The House budget resolution directs the House Ways and Means Committee to report a reconciliation bill that over six years would produce $750 million in savings from mandatory programs, most likely from Medicare, according to CQ Today. House and Senate Republicans “assailed the Democratic budgets, charging that they called for too much spending on domestic programs, failed to curb the growth of Medicare and other costly entitlement programs and would lead to tax increases to millions of Americans,” reported CQ Today.