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Policy Corner: House Committee Supports NIH; Senate Needs to Hear from You

House Gets the Message:
Last Thursday, the House Labor/Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY 2011 bill by a vote of 11 – 5. The bill provides $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – approximately $1 billion (3.2 percent) more than the FY 2010 level. In his opening statement, Chairman Obey (D-WI) referenced the fiscal constraints facing the subcommittee, noting that the bill’s total funding level is roughly $1.5 billion less that the President’s request. The chairman also said “A fifth theme [of the bill] is continued support for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, where the bill fully funds the Administration’s requested $1 billion increase. Within limited resources, this year’s bill puts the emphasis on translating basic research results into practical and available cures and treatments.”

Chairman Obey’s opening statement is available here.

ACSM will continue to keep you updated on any new developments. It is still not clear whether or when the full committee markup will be scheduled. House Appropriations Chairman Obey stated that he expects to hold his first full committee markup of the year this week but did not indicate which bill would be considered.

Senate Subcommittee to Vote Soon:
Later this month, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/Health & Human Services/Education (LHHS) will consider 2011 funding for NIH. It is important to position the agency along a path of sustainable, predictable growth. Your Senators need to hear that message from you NOW. Please see the ACSM Action Alert to contact your Senators and ask that they support $37 billion for NIH in the fiscal year 2011 Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations bill. Then, please ask your colleagues to take action, too.


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