FDA

Republican defections on House spending bills to end shutdown tick up

Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., speaks during the National Air Traffic Controllers Association rally to “Stop the Shutdown” in front of the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The number of House Republicans supporting Democrats’ bills to reopen the government increased slightly on Thursday.

On Thursday, the House voted 244-180 to pass a Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development spending bill and 243-183 to pass an Agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal 2019.

Shutdown Effects: Breakdown by Department and Agency
Thousands of federal employees will be working without a paycheck

The Federal Reserve building is seen on Constitution Avenue address on Saturday, the first day of a partial government shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thousands of federal employees face the prospect of working without a paycheck as the White House budget office Friday night directed the heads of government departments and agencies to begin implementing shutdown plans.

Funding for nine departments and other agencies lapsed at midnight as President Donald Trump remained in a standoff with Congress, his demand for funding for wall construction along the border with Mexico the sticking point in talks over appropriations and a stopgap funding measure.

Shutdown Fears Abound, Despite Temporary Reprieve
Another deadline looming in appropriations standoff

Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, says Transportation-HUD measure not among the “problem child” spending bills. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional aides on both sides of the aisle say they don’t see how the appropriations impasse ends without a partial government shutdown just in time for Christmas Eve.

President Donald Trump signed a continuing resolution into law Friday that would change the expiration date of the stopgap measure enacted before the midterm elections to Dec. 21. But he wasted little time in taking aim at Democratic leaders for “playing political games” on border security funding, even as he prepares to sit down with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York in the Oval Office Tuesday.

Grassley’s Move to Finance Committee Could Bolster Drug Price Efforts
Advocates anticipate bipartisan cooperation on lower prices

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is expected to be the next chairman of the Finance Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley’s return to the helm of the Finance Committee could put him in a position to address high prescription prices, although former aides say his biggest initial contribution to the drug debate will be his zeal for accountability.

Mark Hayes, a former Finance chief health counsel under Grassley, said the Iowa Republican’s well-earned reputation for oversight can be a catalyst for action.

FDA Plans Crackdown on Flavored E-Cigarettes
Move aimed at preventing nicotine addiction in young people

The FDA wants e-cigarette manufacturers to take steps to curb youth use or “face regulatory consequences.” (Matt Cardy/Getty Images file photo)

The Food and Drug Administration, seeking to prevent nicotine addiction in young people, plans to ban flavored e-cigarette sales in gas stations and convenience stores and will propose banning menthol flavoring in traditional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes and their liquid nicotine flavors would continue to be sold in dedicated vape stores, where the FDA believes age verification procedures are more reliable. Gas stations and convenience stores will be able to keep selling e-cigarettes and liquid nicotines flavored like tobacco and menthol.

HHS At Odds With Its Workers, Including Doctors
Employees plan to picket at HHS headquarters

A labor spat at the Department of Health and Human Services is drawing attention from lawmakers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Health and Human Services Department is in a dispute with a union representing 14,000 employees, which risks exacerbating staff shortages among doctors and scientists involved in prescription drug reviews, food safety and other public health responses.

The labor spat is drawing attention from lawmakers as some employees plan to picket at HHS headquarters briefly Thursday afternoon.

Drug Prices Could Become a Divisive Issue for Democrats
Internal tensions over Big Pharma could be on full display next Congress

Divisions among Democrats over the pharmaceutical industry could hurt their party’s efforts to address high drug costs if they win a majority next year. (Courtesy iStock)

Democrats are making the cost of prescription drugs a pillar of the party’s health care agenda in the midterms, but if they win a majority for the 116th Congress, the party will have to grapple with internal divisions over the issue that might be magnified next year.

This campaign season has been notable for candidates pushing the party to reject corporate influence. For emboldened progressive Democrats, the party’s current plans might not be enough. Their views compete with those of new candidates from politically moderate areas with a big pharmaceutical industry presence that might be more inclined to join with longtime incumbents who sympathize more with the industry’s perspective.

Hill Sends Big Chunk of Next Year’s Money to Trump, Minus His Border Wall
All eyes were elsewhere as House passed $855B measure for fiscal 2019

Speaker Paul D. Ryan says he’s confident the president will sign a widely supported spending bill. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

As President Donald Trump gave a stem-winding press conference Wednesday on refusing to meet with the Canadian prime minister, getting laughed at by the United Nations, and what will happen to his embattled Supreme Court nominee, the House was passing legislation.

The chamber voted, 361-61, in favor of a measure that would allocate most of the fiscal 2019 appropriations that Congress controls, along with a continuing resolution to keep much of the rest of the government operating into December.

Trump’s FDA Takes on Tobacco
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 120

The FDA wants e-cigarette manufacturers to take steps to curb youth use or “face regulatory consequences.” (Matt Cardy/Getty Images file photo)

In an administration proud of its deregulatory approach, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has defied the trend. He's proposed to mandate lower nicotine levels in cigarettes and suggested a willingness to crack down on electronic cigarette products popular with kids. Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and CQ health reporter Andrew Siddons assess the proposals and the likelihood Gottlieb will follow through.

 

FDA Threatens to Stop Sales of Flavored E-Cigarettes
Agency gives companies 60 days to present strategy to curb youth use

The FDA wants e-cigarette manufacturers to take steps to curb youth use or “face regulatory consequences.” (Matt Cardy/Getty Images file photo)

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced it may force e-cigarette manufacturers to stop selling flavored products, citing what Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called an “epidemic” of youth use.

Five companies, including JUUL Labs, Inc., maker of the popular, USB-drive shaped device with nicotine flavors, will have 60 days to give the FDA a strategy on how they will curb youth use — “or face regulatory consequences,” Gottlieb said.