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The Honorable Arlen Specter
United States Senate
311 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4801

Dear Senator Specter:

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), with over 40,000 members involved in research, education, public health and clinical microbiology, is writing to ask that as you conference the FY 2006 Labor/Health and Human Services/Education appropriations bill, you provide the highest possible funding levels for the research and public health programs of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We urge you to support the $29.4 billion for the NIH in the FY 2006 conference bill for Labor/HHS/Education. This funding increase for NIH would be approximately the same as the current biomedical rate of inflation as measured by the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index. It is vitally important at this time of increased threats from infectious diseases to strengthen the nation's commitment to biomedical research and pubic health preparedness. We must also continue the substantial returns on our nation's investment in biomedical research and innovation which is so important to the growth of US technology and the economy.

Thank you for your support during the conference process.


Stanley Maloy, Ph.D.
President, American Society for Microbiology