Chairman Bishop Statement at Hearing on FY 2021 FDA Budget Request

2020-03-11 11:00

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 the Fiscal Year 2021 budget request for the Food and Drug Administration:

The Subcommittee will come to order. Good morning. I want to welcome all of you to today’s hearing. The hearing this morning is to review the Food and Drug Administration’s fiscal year 2021 budget request. Our witness is the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn.

Commissioner, welcome. This is your first appearance before this subcommittee so we would like to take the opportunity to cordially welcome you. You come to the agency with an impressive set of scientific and leadership qualifications. Your leadership will be needed to navigate the vast and everchanging issues under FDA’s jurisdiction.

I want to take the opportunity to highlight an issue that is on the minds of many Americans right now – coronavirus. FDA plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and efficacy of any vaccines, therapeutics, or drugs that are designed to address the coronavirus. It also monitors our medical product supply to identify and mitigate any shortages that may result from the disruptions the coronavirus has already caused on the global marketplace. These are issues we continue to monitor very closely, and we are committed to making sure the FDA has the authority and funding it needs to continue its role. We hope the recently enacted supplemental appropriations bill will assist FDA in carrying out its vital job in this crisis.

But I do want to note the observation of a leading expert on public health. When asked what went wrong with how the federal government handled this crisis, he replied “What went right?” I will have further questions on the administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. I should also note that we continue to actively monitor your efforts related to youth use of vaping products. The deadline for companies to submit premarket application is just two months away. Preserving the ability of adults to use vaping devices as an offramp from smoking while preventing bad actors and youth-appealing flavors from remaining on the market is a delicate balancing act. We look forward to hearing more about how you intend to accomplish this while upholding FDA’s mission. I want to thank you for being with us today, and I look forward to today’s discussion.

116th Congress