Contact Your Legislator — Help AGA Support Vital Research Funds
The House Appropriations Committee has unveiled their draft Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2012 that includes $31.7 billion for NIH, representing a 3.3 percent increase over last year’s levels, the same as the administration’s request. According to the bill summary, the NIH funding will support the request level of at least 9,150 new and competing research grants, an increase of about 450 from FY 2011.
However, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY 2012 appropriations bill funds the NIH at $30.5 billion, a reduction of $180 million over last year’s levels. Since neither the House nor the Senate has passed their versions of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bills, these numbers will serve as the basis for negotiating positions as both sides seek to strike a deal on a larger spending package.
AGA continues to advocate for increases in NIH funding, despite the challenging budget atmosphere, and stresses the value that NIH brings in advancing medical progress and our nation’s economic competitiveness. Please contact your legislators and urge them not to cut these vital research funds.
Congress passed a stop gap measure to keep the government funded through Nov. 18, but will once again face a budget battle with the president over funding priorities. The House bill also defunds the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio and other domestic programs popular among Democrats. Once again, the House Republican leadership may face the challenge of trying to pass a spending bill that enough members of their conference can support since many of House Republicans are anxious that it doesn’t go far enough.
The AGA will continue to monitor the budget process and its impact on gastroenterology.
* Picture courtesy of the National Institutes of Health.