SFATA Advocacy Update

See BREAKING NEWS at the end of this message!

Change the Music

If you have a working television in your home, you surely haven’t missed that this week in Congress has been consumed with the “repeal and replace” efforts surrounding the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).  It is truly like listening to music played on a one-note piano at times.

We anticipated this would be the case, as this is an issue which has been discussed as campaign promise in every election since its passage in 2009.  But, boy, does it pull most of the oxygen out of the room when we are competing with this issue for attention.

Our Fly-In last week was very well-timed, partly for this reason.  Constituents showing up and intelligently laying out their issues and specific requests for action is probably a nice departure from the issue du jour with all of the political rhetoric and panic around that.  Since the Fly-In, Mike has been working hard to help our members do follow up work with the various offices they visited and has been impressed with the reception to their efforts.
The work by the SFATA members who came to DC is yielding results already and I expect more will come as they follow up with more information, thank you notes, emails, and calls to those same offices.  For instance, co-sponsors have been added to Cole-Bishop bill (HR 1136). And, Representative Hudson (R-NC) has begun a letter-signing effort in support of inclusion of this same Cole-Bishop language in a funding bill.
You are making a difference individually and we are collectively moving the needle.  The momentum shift can be felt in the discussions SFATA members had in DC last week and those Mike has had this week.  Great job!
There is also tremendous movement within the advocacy community and new spirit of cooperation has emerged. You witnessed it this week with the release of our first of many unified projects to advocate for federal changes in the law through support for HR 1136.
The deadline for finishing Fiscal Year 2017 spending bills remains April 28th, which means we need to work together to make sure the language in the Cole-Bishop Amendment to move the predicate date is included in that budget.  Watch your inboxes for specific instructions on this coming soon!
For those keeping score: Here is some of your early results
Co-sponsors to date on HR 1136, the Cole-Bishop Bill, the “FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017”
Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-2)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-2) (original cosponsor)
Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27) (on committee)
Rep. George Holding (NC-2)
Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-2)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) (on committee)
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) (on committee)
Rep. Hal Rogers (KY-5)
Rep. F. Sensenbrenner (WI-5)
Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Rep. Mac Thornberry (TX-13)
Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-4)
Rep. Steve Womack (AR-3)
Rep. Kevin Yoder (KS-3)

BREAKING NEWS: Just as I was about to send this, I received news from Mike!  Trump has nominated Dr. Scott Gottlieb to be the new FDA Commissioner.  Politico described him as "a conservative drug industry insider and former FDA and CMS official," who has close ties to the drug industry.  Read more about Mr. Gottlieb here from NPR!

Chris Winfrey