The business before the Subcommittee today is the fiscal year 2012 budget request for the Food and Drug Administration. I want to welcome Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the Commissioner of the FDA and Patrick McGarey -- FDA's Assistant Commission for budget.
The President's FY 2012 budget request for new discretionary budget authority for FDA is $2.744 billion, an increase of $382 million above the $2.363 billion in the fiscal year 2011 current CR.
This FDA budget request represents a 16 percent increase. In fact, there are increases across-the-board at FDA in this budget with the exception of $29.7 million (1.2%) in administrative savings. Further, $6.7 million of these so-called savings are proposed in the foods program, which we know the consumer groups will admonish.
Secondly, I want to remind folks of the federal budget deficit. On Monday, the government posted its largest monthly deficit in history in February at $223 billion, according to preliminary numbers by the Congressional Budget Office. That figure tops last February's record of $220.9 billion, and marks the 29th straight month the government has run in the red -- a modern record. I just want to let everyone know that despite all of the work being done by the FDA on behalf of the American people, we will have to make some tough choices when deciding if these budget increases are in the best interest of our country.