May 19, 2023 - Health

House panel moves FDA funding bill with abortion and tobacco riders

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House Appropriations subcommittee in charge of FDA funding easily approved a fiscal 2024 spending bill Thursday that would reverse the agency's decision to allow mail-order mifepristone.

  • The bill would also prevent HHS from banning menthol in cigarettes and from setting a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes.

The big picture: Although committee Democrats protested the riders — and many other elements of the 113-page bill — they did not offer any amendments that would strike the conservative policies.

  • The bill sailed through to the full committee in a voice vote.

Zoom out: In 2021, the FDA committed to banning menthol cigarettes. The following year, the agency proposed a ceiling on nicotine level in cigarettes.

What they're saying: "I strongly oppose both these riders in the interest of public health," Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said during Thursday’s markup.

Of note: The bill would provide about $6.6 billion to the FDA in fiscal 2024. President Biden’s 2024 budget requested $7.2 billion total for the agency.

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