March 11, 2003 - ASM Letter to House and Senate Budget Committees on Support of Increased Funding for FY 2004 Budget Requests for Federal R&D Agencies

The Honorable Jim Nussle
Chair, House Budget Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC

Dear Chairman Nussle:

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is writing to urge the House Budget Committee to draft a budget resolution that will support increased funding above the Administration's FY 2004 budget request for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

These agencies fund vital programs that produce medical and technological advances that serve public health as well as the defense of the nation. As a member of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, the ASM supports the recommendation to increase the NIH budget for FY 2004 to a level of $30 billion, or an additional 10 percent over the doubled budget of the NIH. A 10 percent increase for NIH will continue its ability to capitalize on the substantial scientific achievements of the past few years and enhance its ability to seize scientific opportunities to advance national health and security. The ASM urges the Committee to support a CDC budget that reflects the agency's daunting task of combating emerging infectious diseases and preparing the nation's public health community for the threat of bioterrorism. The ASM endorses the CDC Coalition's $7.9 billion budget and an additional $110 million for emerging infectious diseases. The Society further recommends that the Committee consider the essential role the FDA plays in protecting the nation's health and food supply. The FDA should be recognized as an important component to the nation's overall health and research enterprise and should be funded accordingly. The ASM supports a $1.6 billion budget for the FDA. Furthermore, the Society requests that the Committee support a funding level of $6.4 billion for the NSF that will match H.R. 4664, the five-year reauthorization bill for the NSF.

The ASM urges the House Budget Committee to set a budget resolution that reflects the NIH, NSF, CDC and FDA contributions to national health, productivity, and security. Thank you for your support.