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WASHINGTON, DC –- The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) commends Congress for the passage of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Reform Act of 2006, HR 6164. The legislation will help to ensure the continued success of the NIH as the world leader in sponsoring biomedical research and will strengthen its ability to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities to make major advances in human health. The ASM particularly recognizes the leadership on this bill and the commitment to biomedical research of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Joe Barton, Ranking Member, John Dingell, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chair Mike Enzi and Ranking Member Edward Kennedy, and Senators Arlen Specter and Tom Harkin.

The ASM is gratified that the final NIH reauthorization bill increases the funding level for authorizations of appropriations in fiscal years 2007 and 2008 and urges the President to sign the bill and support increased funding for the NIH at the authorized level for FY 2008.