« Latest News

Premium Cigars Take Center Stage During Budget Hearing

February 15th, 2018


WASHINGTON, D.C. – FEBRUARY 15, 2018 — Yesterday, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney came to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Budget Committee on the Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

During his questioning of Director Mulvaney, the issue of premium cigars and FDA regulation was raised by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL). Diaz-Balart cited the pending release of an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPRM”) by FDA and how OMB planned on ensuring “appropriate cost-benefit and regulatory flexibility analysis.”

“We have absolute confidence the FDA is going to apply the Administration’s sort of new standard when it comes to cost-benefit analysis that we are actually going to do them and we will actually have science and numbers behind them as opposed to the qualitative type analysis that was done by the previous administration,” said Mulvaney. “I’ve learned a great deal about cost-benefit analysis over the last 13 months and been extraordinarily disappointed in what passed for a cost-benefit analysis under the previous administration.”

Mulvaney added that FDA Director Gottleib has a “much more rational approach to the process and when it comes to OIRA,” and that the OMB’s job is to make sure that the people working at the various agencies follow the rules.

“We don’t supplement our view for theirs,” added Mulvaney, “We just make sure they have gone about it in the proper process.”

Director Mulvaney’s response on the topic was a welcomed sign that he is committed to a fair and equitable regulatory process. Moreover, it appears that the Trump Administration has been paying close attention to the issues concerning the premium cigar industry.

“CRA and our industry allies look forward to continuing our dialogue with the Administration and congressional advocates for the premium handmade cigar industry,” said CRA Executive Director, Glynn Loope. “Messages conveyed such as that by Congressman Diaz-Balart yesterday and over the course of the last several years have worked to tell the unique artisan message of premium cigars, and recent actions by the Administration and regulators have proven that this message is being heard.”

CRA applauded Congressman Diaz-Balart’s continued support for the premium cigar industry and Director Mulvaney for his thoughtful and informed comments on the issue.

To watch the exchange between Congressman Diaz-Balart and Director Mulvaney, click here.