Appropriations Bill Now Law

On Friday, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244) into law. This legislation was approved by a 309-118 vote in the House and a 79-18 vote in the Senate. This legislation includes a program level of $34.084 billion for NIH, a $2 billion (6.2 percent) increase over FY2016, including the $352 million provided through the 21st Century Cures Act in FY2017. Also, this bill includes $425.7 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research a $13 million increase from the FY2016 enacted level of $412.7 million.

 

A Deal on the Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations Bill

This week, Congress reached a deal on the fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill to avoid a government shutdown this week and fund the federal government through the end of September. This legislation proposes $34.084 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) an increase of $2 billion from the FY16 level of $32 billion and $425.7 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) which is a $13 million increase over the FY16 enacted level of $412.7 million.

It is important to note that Congress rejected the Administration’s proposal to cut NIH by $1.2 billion in FY17. The increased funding provided in this bill for the remainder of the fiscal year for NIH and NIDCR represents a significant advocacy win for AADR and the broader biomedical research community. Since the beginning of the year AADR and our members conducted nearly 100 meetings with members of Congress and their staff; sent over 500 email messages to Congress; issued a statement; and sent a Friends of NIDCR letter signed by 63 organizations, patient advocacy groups and dental schools encouraging Congress to increase funding for NIH and NIDCR.

AADR advocacy reached historic levels during the past three months and the efforts of the AADR community did not go unnoticed by Congress.

According to the House Appropriations Committee summary of the bill the legislation provides, “Specific increases (at NIH) for research related to Alzheimer’s disease, the brain, antibiotic resistance and the Precision Medicine Initiative. The bill also provides a general increase to all NIH Institutes and Centers to continue progress in developing new treatments and cures, including increases for Clinical and Translational Science Awards and Institutional Development Awards.”

This legislation also provides the following funding levels:

  • $289 million, a nearly $9 million increase for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • $18 million, level funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Oral Health
  • $36.6 million an increase of $800,000 for the Health Resources and Services Administration Title VII oral health training program
  • $324 million, a $10 million decrease for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • $160.4 million, level funding for the National Center for Health Statistics
  • $7.472 billion, an increase of $8.7 million for the National Science Foundation.

The bill provides the following report language:

  • HRSA Oral Health Training Report Language: The agreement includes an additional $800,000 for the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program under section 748 of the Public Health Service Act. The agreement directs HRSA to publish a new funding opportunity announcement and to give preference in grant awards to pediatric dentistry faculty supervising residents and to applicants providing clinical services in dental clinics located in dental schools, hospitals, or community-based affiliated sites.
  • NIH Report Language: The agreement expects NIH to support a consistent NIH-wide inflationary policy across all ICs that is no less than the general increase provided to all ICs (3.0 percent) for non-competing grants. The agreement expects that NIH will continue its focus on emerging investigators and first-time renewals of these young investigators with actions to significantly reduce the average age of an NIH-supported new investigator. The agreement expects NIH to support the number of Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards and other training grants in proportion to at least the general IC level funding increase. The agreement expects NIH to provide a stipend level and inflationary increase to grantees that is at least consistent with any fiscal year 2017 Federal employee pay raise.

What’s Next? Congress will vote on the bill and the President is expected to sign it into law. After this legislation is approved, Congress is expected to begin working on the FY18 appropriations bill. As a reminder the President’s FY18 skinny budget proposed a $5.8 billion cut to NIH. Advocacy efforts will be critical during the next couple of months. Stay tuned for additional opportunities to engage with your members of Congress and their staff.

 For additional information
Click here to read the FY17 report language
Click here to read the summary of the bill

AADR Selects University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry Student for Gert Quigley Fellowship

AADR is pleased to announce the selection of Tanner Godfrey from the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Dentistry as the 2017-18 Gert Quigley Fellow. Mr. Godfrey is currently enrolled in the DMD/PhD program and is the Secretary of the AADR National Student Research Group (NSRG). Mr. Godfrey is the recipient of numerous research awards including the inaugural IADR 3MT and the AADR Student Research Award. He was also a finalist in the AADR Hatton competition. In 2015, Mr. Godfrey received his B.S. in biochemistry at Utah State University.  In his application for the fellowship, Mr. Godfrey noted, “At the completion of my dual training, I have the ultimate career goal of becoming a clinician-scientist. There are many different roles involved in research and academics, one of which is advocacy. Without proper advocacy for the dental research field, awareness of the importance of this research and subsequent funding would be in increased danger. In order to be a leader and valuable member of the dental research field, I feel it is critical to learn the workings of the U.S. government and how to promote dental research. The Gert Quigley Fellowship would serve as an unmatchable experience for gaining this knowledge, and would be extremely valuable to my future success.”

 

The Gert Quigley Public Policy Fellowship provides a unique learning experience both in Washington, DC and through grassroots efforts at the participants local university or institution. This fellowship is designed to familiarize dental school, Ph.D., or dual degree students with the federal legislative process as it relates to basic and translational dental and craniofacial research, as well as research on the oral health care delivery system. Applications for the 2018-19 Gert Quigley Public Policy Fellowship will be available in March 2018.

FNIDCR Letter Demonstrates Robust Support for NIDCR Funding

Today, in an effort led by AADR, the Friends of National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (FNIDCR) sent a letter signed by 63 organizations, patient advocates and dental schools urging Congress to provide $430.5 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) in the final fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriation bill and $452 million in FY18. The organizations also urged Congress to oppose President Trump’s FY18 budget request which recommends an unprecedented 20 percent cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a major reorganization of its institutes of centers. They also urged Congress to oppose the Administrations’ recent proposal to cut $1.2 billion from NIH in the current fiscal year to pay for an increase in defense and the wall along the Mexican border.

What is next? The current continuing resolution (CR) expires on April 28th. Congress will either need to pass a short term CR, a long term CR or an omnibus appropriations bill and the President must sign the funding legislation to avert a government shutdown.

AADR and FNIDCR will continue to monitor these developments closely and provide updates to the community as this process unfolds.

AADR and FNIDCR Oppose the Administration’s Budget Reduction Request for Fiscal Year 2017

Last night, the Trump Administration released a proposal to cut $17.9 billion from non-defense discretionary spending to offset the Administration’s military supplemental request and the proposed wall along the Mexican border in the current fiscal year (FY17). Included in this document obtained by Politico is a proposal to cut $1.2 billion from the National Institutes of Health. Specifically, the Administration proposes $50 million cuts from IDeA grants and reducing research grants by $1.18 billion. AADR and the Friends of NIDCR issued a statement opposing this proposal and urging Congress to reject it.

In addition to the cuts at NIH, of concern to AADR, the Administration proposes the reductions outlined below:

  • -$11 million from the Office of Minority Health
  • -$50 million from the Agency of Health Care Research and Quality
  • -$65 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to “eliminate or reduce less effective or duplicative research programs such as the Prevention Research Centers, Climate Change, and Tobacco Prevention Research.”
  • -$50 million to the CDC domestic HIV/AIDS program
  • -$50 million to the Global HIV/AIDS program.
  • -$170 million to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) health professions programs and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant’s special projects (SPRANS).
  • -$350 million from the National Science Foundation

It is important to note, this proposal is separate and different from President Trump’s FY18 skinny budget request. “The FY 2017 Reduction Options” released yesterday would cut funding in the current fiscal year after the current continuing resolution expires on April 28th. As of today, it appears that Congress will not support these funding reductions. According to an article in Politico, House appropriations stated this request from the Administration is, “…too late in the process to affect the outcome of the spending legislation for the current fiscal year.”

What’s next? AADR and FNIDCR will continue to advocate that Congress provide predictable, sustained and increased funding for NIH, NIDCR and other oral health programs in the upcoming year.

What can you do? Please click here to either call or email your member of Congress and urge them to reject these cuts.

Questions? Please email any questions or concerns to the AADR Director of Government Affairs Carolyn Mullen at cmullen@aadr.org

President’s FY18 Budget Proposes 20% Cut to NIH

Today, President Trump released a “skinny” budget request for fiscal year 2018. This budget proposes an unprecedented $5.8 billion or 20% cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also requests a major reorganization of NIH’s Institutes and Centers. AADR and FNIDCR issued a statement today opposing the budget and urged Congress to reject this proposal.

According to the text provided in the budget blueprint, the President’s 2018 Budget:

“Reduces the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) spending relative to the 2017 annualized CR level by $5.8 billion to $25.9 billion. The Budget includes a major reorganization of NIH’s Institutes and Centers to help focus resources on the highest priority research and training activities including: eliminating the Fogarty International Center; consolidating the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within NIH; and other consolidations and structural changes across NIH organizations and activities. The Budget also reduces administrative costs and rebalances Federal contributions to research funding.”

Additionally, the budget proposes to eliminate $403 million in health professions and nursing training programs. It also proposes to “reform” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a new $500 million block grant to increase State flexibility and focus on health challenges specific to each state.

At this time, the budget does not provide additional information about the reorganization plan for NIH and what specific programs are eliminated at HRSA or CDC. This information will be made available when a more detailed budget is expected to be released in May, 2017.

 It is important to keep in mind that the President’s budget is a document that outlines the administration’s funding priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and Congress has the authority to approve, reject or modify the recommendations included in the budget.

 What’s Next? AADR and FNIDCR will continue to advocate that Congress provide predictable, sustained and increased funding for NIH, NIDCR and other oral health programs in the upcoming year.

What can you do? Now more than ever you must make your voice heard. While it is unlikely that cuts of this magnitude will become enacted, however if Congress doesn’t hear from dental, oral and craniofacial researchers it will put NIDCR in a precarious position. Please click here to send an email to your member of Congress. Also, invite your member of Congress to tour your laboratory. Congress is less likely to cut funding for programs and research when they better understand its value.

Questions Please email any questions or concerns to the AADR Director of Government Affairs Carolyn Mullen at cmullen@aadr.org

AADR and Friends of NIDCR Submit Written Testimony

Last week, AADR President Dr. Jack Ferracane submitted written testimony on behalf of AADR and the Friends of NIDCR urging Congress to provide at least a $2 billion increase over the FY17 level for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $452 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in the fiscal year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation bill. Moreover, since the federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution through April 28, 2017, he urged Congress to approve the bi-partisan Senate FY17 LHHS Appropriation bill which includes $34.1 billion for NIH and $430.5 million for NIDCR, immediately. He also noted that with the return of full sequestration next year, AADR and Friends of NIDCR strongly urged Congress from making further reductions in non-defense discretionary programs and work to replace the scheduled sequestration cuts through a package that is balanced—both in how such relief is paid for and how it is applied to non-defense discretionary programs.

IADR/AADR Update President Trump Signs New Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” on March 6, 2017

On March 6, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The previous Executive Order 13769 signed on January 27, 2017 is effectively replaced with this order. The new Executive Order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2017.

Specifically, beginning on March 16, 2017, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen who are outside the United States and did not have a valid visa at 5:00 EST on January 27, 2017 and do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order are not eligible for entry into the United States for 90 days. Foreign nationals from the six countries listed above who have valid visas will not be affected by this Executive Order. No visas will be revoked solely based on this Executive Order. This order applies to both nationals and citizens of Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

It is important to note that Iraqi citizens are not affected by this Executive Order.

Also, any individual whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry. Any prior cancellation or revocation of a visa that was solely pursuant to Executive Order 13769 shall not be the basis of inadmissibility for any future determination about entry or admissibility.

The Executive Order does not apply to certain individuals, such as the following:

  • Lawful permanent residents of the United States;
  • Foreign nationals admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the effective date of the order;
  • Any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on the effective date of this order or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document;
  • Dual nationals when travelling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
  • Foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic type visa, NATO visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visas; and
  • Any foreign national who has been granted asylum; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State have the discretionary authority, on a case-by-case basis to issue visas or allow the entry of nationals of these six countries into the United States when a national from one of the countries demonstrates that the denial of entry would cause undue hardship, that his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and that his or her entry would be in the national interest. One of the areas suggested for consideration of a waiver include, “The foreign national seeks to enter the United States for a significant business or professional obligation and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations.”

The Department of State will restrict the Visa Interview Waiver Program and require additional nonimmigrant visa applicants to undergo an in-person interview.

What does this mean? This new Executive Order replaces the previous order signed on January 27, 2017 which is currently undergoing litigation in the U.S. Court system. As of March 6, 2017 it is unclear how the U.S. courts will respond to this new Executive Order.

What is the IADR/AADR Position? While the new Executive Order clarifies that current visa holders are allowed to travel to the United States, IADR/AADR remain concerned that this Executive Order will have a negative impact on the global scientific community. These Executive Orders have a direct impact on the IADR General Session in San Francisco, California scheduled for March 2017. Specifically, by restricting the movement of scientists and exchange of research findings, they will impair IADR and AADR’s ability to achieve its mission of advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide.

As we strive towards our mission, IADR and AADR are committed to our diverse membership and will always be an inclusive community of dental, oral and craniofacial researchers for membership, meetings and our publications. We will continue to work with Congress and the Administration so they better understand the detrimental impact policies such as these have on the exchange of information and the scientific enterprise at large.

 

For More Information:

Click here to read the new Executive Order signed on March 6, 2017

Click here to read a fact sheet authored by the Trump Administration and obtained by the Washington Post

AADR Joins 2,000 Organizations in Support of Non-Defense Discretionary Programs

In fiscal year (FY) 2018 full sequestration returns with a scheduled $3 billion cut for non-defense discretionary programs. Moreover, sequestration coupled with the Trump Administration’s recent proposal to increase defense spending by $54 billion and using cuts to non-defense discretionary pogroms to pay for it, increases the likelihood for significant cuts biomedical research and public health programs in the upcoming fiscal year. While Congress makes the final spending decisions and the reception to President Trump’s FY18 leaked budget proposal on Capitol Hill was lukewarm at best, AADR and the rest of the advocacy community remain extremely concerned that macro budget issues will continue to impact Congress’s ability to provide sustained, increased and predictable funding for the National Institutes of Health.

To help reinforce the importance of non-defense discretionary programs AADR joined with 2,000 national, state, and local organizations in a letter urging Congress to ensure adequate funding for programs funded through annual appropriations, continue the bipartisan practice of providing relief from sequestration budget cuts and oppose any new efforts to cut these programs more deeply.  Importantly, the letter notes that these “nondefense discretionary” (NDD) programs serve many vital national needs but have been subject to repeated cuts over the past six years, including through the appropriations caps and sequestration process established by the 2011 Budget Control Act.  The organizations urged Congress to avoid making further reductions in these programs and work to replace the scheduled sequestration cuts through a package that is balanced—both in how such relief is paid for and how it is applied to defense and NDD programs.

AADR will continue to monitor the budget developments closely and advocate for increased funding for NIH, NIDCR and other important public health programs.

Gert Quigley Fellowship Application Period Open

AADR is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2017-2018 Gert Quigley Government Affairs Fellowship. The Gert Quigley Public Policy Fellowship provides a unique and exciting learning experience both in Washington, DC and through grassroots efforts at the participants local university or institution. This fellowship is designed to familiarize dental school, Ph.D., or dual degree students with the federal legislative process as it relates to basic and translational dental and craniofacial research, as well as research on the oral health care delivery system.

The applicant must be a member of the AADR National Student Research Group and a DMD/DDS, Ph.D. or a dual degree student.

Click here for more information about the program and the application process.

Applications are due by April 1, 2017!