these officials—especially the directors of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—which would provide critical continuity in the nation’s public health and scientific endeavors.
2e. The President should make timely appointments and Congress should expedite the confirmation process for key HHS officials, including the secretary, deputy secretary, surgeon general, and the heads of FDA and NIH. Secretarial appointments, such as the director of CDC, should also be expedited.
2h. Congress should allocate sufficient, predictable funding for NIH, CDC, FDA, and AHRQ in order to preserve and enhance these agencies’ scientific missions. Congress should also establish a specific budget line for AHRQ that is independent of appropriations to other HHS agencies.
2i. To address the growing threat of food-borne illnesses, Congress should unify the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the food safety activities of FDA within HHS and ensure provision of adequate resources for high-quality inspection, enforcement, and research.