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Public Statements

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. LANCE. Madam Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR (Mrs. Myrick). The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. LANCE. The language of section 740 is within the jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee, on which I serve, and our committee is the appropriate forum for considering such language. Having said that, the House should know--and the Food and Drug Administration should know--that we agree with the spirit of the language and the goal of the members of the Appropriations Committee, who supported its inclusion in the bill.

After speaking with the sponsors of the language, we know that together we share a concern about what is happening at the FDA. We believe that policy decisions at the FDA should be based on science and not on any irrelevant consideration.

As much as officials at the FDA claim that their decisions are based on sound science, their recent actions give us pause. For example, 2 months ago, Chairman Upton, along with Chairman Lucas and Chairman Graves, sent a letter to the FDA regarding the potential ban of antimicrobial animal drugs and the lack of scientific support for that action. This potential ban has caused significant worry among our Nation's producers, veterinarians, and consumers. The chairmen finally received a response from the FDA last Friday, and the FDA refused to answer the questions about the scientific basis of their action, claiming that the matter is still, quote, under consideration. This response is unacceptable and makes us wonder why the FDA refuses to discuss the scientific basis for its conclusions.

We pledge that the Energy and Commerce Committee will explore whether there are steps that Congress should take to prevent the FDA from pursuing regulatory actions that are not based on sound scientific analysis and fact. Those at the FDA should know that many in Congress are watching and carefully studying whether the FDA's actions are justified.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

POINT OF ORDER

Mr. LANCE. Madam Chair, I raise a point of order. Section 740 constitutes legislating on an appropriations bill because it requires a new determination and, therefore, violates clause 2 of rule XXI of the rules of the House and should be struck from the bill.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

If not, the Chair will rule.

The Chair finds that this section includes language requiring a new determination. The section, therefore, constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule XXI.

The point of order is sustained, and the section is stricken from the bill.

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