How Does Congress Reach Consensus on UFAs?
The House and Senate are working to pass the User Fee Acts (UFAs). Congress must pass the UFA legislation prior to August 1, 2022, or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will need to send furlough/layoff notices to staff. The House and Senate bills’ texts have different extraneous provisions. Compromises across the chambers and from external stakeholders will be needed to move this across the finish line. With the timeline shrinking, Congress needs to move quickly to resolve these differences and advance the UFA legislation in the next work period.
The infant formula shortage will be spotlighted in two House of Representative hearings. This week, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies will be examining the infant formula shortage. Members of Congress will hear directly from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and baby formula manufacturers regarding the shortage. The shortage stems from formula recalls, supply chain issues, and trade policies. This is an especially dangerous situation for children who need specialty formulas. Congress and the Biden Administration are working to address the shortage. Last week, the House of Representatives passed two bills addressing the formula shortage. One bill provides flexibility in the WIC program, which was also passed by the Senate and sent to the President for his signature. The other bill would provide $28 million in supplemental funding, but its fate in the Senate is uncertain. Additionally, the Biden Administration has invoked the Defense Protection Act to address the formula shortage, with initial shipments from overseas arriving this weekend.
This week the House is out while the Senate is in. Next week, both bodies are out over the Memorial Day Weekend break. Debbie Curtis and Rodney Whitlock look over what legislative items will be a priority this summer on The Hill.