E&C Continues Marking-Up UFA and Mental Health Package
The Energy and Commerce Committee continues its mark-up of the User Fee Agreement and Mental Health Bills this week. Last week the bills advanced in the Health Subcommittee on a bipartisan basis. During the Full Committee mark-up, we will be watching for signals on the bills’ timing and if the hearing goes off track due to focus on abortion and other partisan issues.
Across the country, families are unable to find infant formula. The shortage stems from formula recalls, supply chain issues, and trade policies. This is an especially dangerous situation for children who need specialty formula. Congress and the Biden Administration are working to address the shortage. This week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on two bills addressing the formula shortage. This comes on the heels of a Republican letter to the White House and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking information on how the Administration addresses the crisis and a Democratic letter to formula manufacturers encouraging them to get products back on the market as soon as possible. Additionally, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on what led to the shortfall on May 25th. The Biden Administration has announced several actions to address the shortage, including increasing importation.
Signals of Continuation of the Public Health Emergency? The Biden Administration has continually noted that it would provide a 60-day notice if they intend to end the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Early this week will mark the 60-day deadline. Late last week, HHS sent a letter to the nation’s governors reiterating its commitment to the 60-day notice. Given that this letter was sent days before the deadline, most interpreted it to signal that the PHE will continue to be extended past mid-July. It is also highly unlikely that the Administration will end the PHE when Congress is on recess or going into the election season, so it is probable that the COVID-19 PHE will extend towards the end of the year.