Monday, 06 November 2017 13:54

ASM Urges Increased Funding for the NIH in FY 2018

Dear Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Pelosi, and Minority Leader Schumer:

The 216 undersigned organizations of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research thank you for your ongoing leadership in maintaining the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a key national priority. As Congress moves forward with the fiscal year (FY) 2018 spending bills, we write to urge enactment of a bicameral, bipartisan budget agreement that raises the spending caps and enables a $36.1 billion investment in NIH in FY 2018, as approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research represents patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry, dedicated to enhancing the federal investment in biomedical, behavioral, social, and population-based research supported by NIH.

We are thankful for recent increases to NIH funding and appreciate Congress’ continued support for medical research, which offers the hope of better health for patients and inspires the nation’s next generation of scientists who seek tomorrow’s cures. We are also grateful that both the House and Senate FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) funding bills continue this momentum by recognizing NIH as an important federal investment. Building on this commitment will ensure a steady pipeline of basic research discoveries and advancing the translational effort necessary to improve prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease requires a sustained commitment to the
NIH. The $2 billion increase provided in the Senate Labor-HHS bill would allow a continued trajectory of predictable growth necessary to achieve these objectives.

We are concerned, however, that without relief from sequestration, final funding for critical federal agencies like the NIH could face significant hurdles. Our country is known for its outstanding medical research capacity, but the discretionary spending caps imposed by sequestration will jeopardize our competitive edge in an increasingly innovation-based global marketplace. To maintain our leadership, we must reaffirm this commitment by providing biomedical research enterprise the support needed to maintain our competitive edge.

As you work to finalize FY 2018 appropriations, we respectfully urge you to maintain the nation’s investment in biomedical research and develop a bipartisan solution that eases the non-defense discretionary caps and allows for robust funding for the NIH.