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QUAYLE COMPETITIVENESS COUNCIL HAS "REFORMED THE DRUG APPROVAL PROCESS"

Executive Summary

QUAYLE COMPETITIVENESS COUNCIL HAS "REFORMED THE DRUG APPROVAL PROCESS," the Vice President declared Aug. 20 in his speech at the Republican convention in Houston. Accepting his nomination as the 1992 Republican candidate for Vice President, Quayle used the opportunity to say that his competitiveness council has "worked to save jobs and to save lives...[and] to speed up the availability of new medicines for people with life-threatening diseases like cystic fibrosis, cancer and AIDS." The Vice President also indicated that he will resist attempts by some members of Congress to eliminate the council or drastically change the way it operates. The council "will continue to lead the charge against unnecessary federal regulation," he said. Congressional Democrats, Quayle added, "have tried to kill the Council on Competitiveness, which stands up for the American people against the bureaucrats and the special interests." Sunshine Act legislation (HR 5702), which would require the Office of Management & Budget, the Council on Competitiveness or any White House regulation-reviewing body to make publicly available all records of meetings with lobbyists and government agencies regarding regulations, was passed out of the House Government Operations Committee on Aug. 6 ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 10, T&G-2). The measure is pending on the House floor. In a recent letter signed by representatives of three major health associations, Quayle's council was accused of catering to special interest groups. The July 31 letter to President Bush from the American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society calls on Bush to take the "ethically right and morally high ground in restoring the council to a role that it should be playing as an advisory committee." The letter cites the Competitiveness Council's "veto power" over federal regulations as a hindrance to the legal and beneficial operation of government, charging the council with serving as a "back door way to circumvent" the Administrative Procedures Act.
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