Advocacy Day Registration Deadline this Friday

Members of the oral health research community are strongly encouraged to register today for the AADR/ADEA Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, which will take place on April 17, 2013 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration closes this Friday, March 29. The one-day program will begin with a morning session that features an update on the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research from its Director, Dr. Martha Somerman, as well as remarks from some key Members of Congress. The afternoon portion of the event will include participant visits with their Members of Congress.

The need for AADR member participation in Advocacy Day has increased in recent days. On March 1st, a budget sequestration order was issued, which set severe reductions to federal agencies into motion. NIH will lose $1.6 billion as a result of the action; driving its historically low grant success rate further down. NIH/NIDCR grantees, as well as those supported by other federal research agencies, should expect to be directly impacted by the budget sequestration order. In the next several weeks, a flurry of proposals will be offered to undue the impacts of sequestration for certain communities. If federal investments in oral health research are to be preserved this year, it is imperative that each Member of Congress hear directly from their constituents who are training and/or working within the field. Face-to-face meetings provide the best opportunities to impact the budget development process.

Registration is complimentary! To register, email your RSVP to AADR Director of Government Affairs Jonathan Nurse at jnurse@aadronline.org. Additional details can also be found at: www.aadronline.org/AdvocacyDay. If you have already registered for Advocacy Day, please accept our sincere thanks and expect to receive additional information in the days ahead.

Bipartisan Effort Underway to Boost NIH for FY 2014

Congressmen David McKinley (R-WV) and Ed Markey (D-MA) have called for increasing NIH funding to $32B in FY 2014, which would repair much of the damage done to biomedical research by the budget sequestration order issued on March 1st. Members of the oral health research community are asked to urge their representatives in the House to support this bipartisan effort.

The stakes for research have never been higher. We know that research is a critical national investment that will save and improve lives while growing our economy. Make sure your representatives get the message by visiting the AADR Action Center. Remember to share this alert on Facebook and with everyone in your network.

AADR Action Center

McKinley-Markey “Dear Colleague Letter”

FY14 Budget Resolution Passes Senate Along with Moran NIH Amendment

Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), a member of the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, introduced an amendment to Senator Murray’s budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2014, to increase NIH funding by $1.4 billion.  Senator Moran stated that, adjusted for inflation, the NIH budget in Fiscal Year 2012 was $3.6 billion less than Fiscal Year 2003, when NIH funding was at its highest. The graph below shows that NIH funding in constant dollars, i.e. after adjusting for inflation, has constantly decreased over the years. Note that this graph does not account for the sequestration cuts that cost the NIH more than $1.6 billion or -5.1% over the next six months. Voting on the budget resolution began over the weekend. The budget resolution and Senator Moran’s amendment passed. However, given that the Senate budget resolution is dramatically different from what was passed by the House, additional pressure will be needed to preserve the content of the Moran amendment in the House.

 

Senator Murray Seeks $55 billion More for Non-Defense Programs

Senate Budget Chair, Patty Murray (D-WA), released her budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2014, which starts on October 1st. This Senate resolution is a sharp contrast to the budget resolution released by the House Budget Chairman, Paul Ryan (R-WI). While both resolutions have requested $966 billion for discretionary spending, Senator Murray requested $497 billion for defense, and $469 billion for non-defense (non-defense covers education, NIH, FDA, CDC, and others). Representative Ryan requested $522 billion for defense and $414 billion for non-defense. This means that the difference in allocations for non-defense between the two resolutions is $55 billion, or 13% more than what Ryan’s budget requested for non-defense. The House and Senate will likely proceed on with the FY14 appropriations process without agreeing on top-line budget numbers, instead opting to assign budget allocations to agencies and programs within their respective top-line caps. At the end of the process, we are likely to see appropriations bills produced with dramatically different numbers — between House and Senate versions — for agencies such as NIH and NSF.

AADR Submits Testimony Seeking Boost in FY14 NIH/NIDCR Budget

Today, AADR called on House appropriators to fund NIH at a level of $32 billion and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at $450 million in Fiscal Year 2014. In testimony submitted to the House Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, the Association highlighted research areas that hold much promise of improving health, including: the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network, point of care diagnostics, health disparities, cleft lip and/or palate, and chronic pain. AADR made clear that these research areas are slowed by sequestration of the federal budget and articulated a hope that Congress would change course to prioritize biomedical research during the FY14 budget process.

Full FY14 AADR Testimony to House Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations

House Budget Would Deal Another Severe Blow to NIH in FY14 and Beyond

House of Representatives Budget Chairman, Paul Ryan (R-WI), released a 10-year spending plan on Tuesday. The plan claims to balance the federal budget within the next 10 years, through deep cuts of roughly $4.6 trillion, which is more than the entire federal budget for FY 2012. The plan imposes extreme cuts to non-defense discretionary programs, which include line-items such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Head Start, education, and air traffic control. These cuts will take place by imposing a 414-billion-dollar cap on non-defense discretionary spending for FY 2014, which starts on October 1st. To put this into perspective, this cap means that about $167 billion will be cut from these programs in FY 2014, accounting for the sequester cuts that took effect on March 1st. While the sequester cuts have dealt a devastating 5.1% cut to NIH funding for the remainder of this year, the House plan could mean more than a 10% cut to the NIH budget in FY 2014. The graph on the right shows the deep cuts to NIH for FY 2013 after the sequester, and the cuts that will take place for FY 2014 if Rep. Ryan’s budget is adopted.

Senate Proposals to Boost NIH FY13 Funding Defeated

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Earlier in the week, Senator Tom Harkin, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, put forward an amendment to the FY13 continuing resolution/omnibus spending package offered by Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski. The spending package offered by Senator Mikulski would provide a near level-funding base (compared with FY12) for most agencies, with actual budget prioritization for a few agencies (e.g. Commerce, Justice, National Science Foundation, Defense, Homeland Security, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs) and a list of anomalies (including NIH) that would deviate slightly from the flat-funding policy applied to most areas. The roughly 5% sequestration cut to most agencies and programs would then be applied to the base, bring most considerably lower than their FY12 appropriation. Senator Harkin’s amendment adds the Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies spending accounts to the list of agencies that Senator Mikulski has provided actual prioritized budget figures for. According to staff on Senator Harkin’s subcommittee, the amendment has a neutral fiscal impact as it puts off anticipated increases for the implementation of the state exchanges included in the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading

White House Seeks Sequestration Stories

The across-the-board cuts to federal agencies and programs are here. Whether the cuts are here to stay partly depends on how engaged the public is in the days ahead. The White House has called on Americans to voice their concerns to their Members of Congress. Additionally, as the budget sequester begins to be implemented and impacts become more clear, the White House would like individuals to share their stories. The White House has created a webpage where individuals can provide details on how the budget sequester has touched their lives.

Share your story with the White House.

NIH Seeks Comments on Implementation of Workforce Recommendations

As many will remember, in December 2010, NIH formed an Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) to examine workforce issues facing NIH and the larger biomedical research community. The ACD released a list of recommendations in June 2012. In December 2012, the NIH leadership put forward an initial plan to implement ACD recommendations. NIH is now seeking public input on various components of its draft implementation plan. View the full NIH Request for Information. The deadline for comments is April 22, 2013.

AADR will provide input on behalf of its membership. To offer comments for consideration in the AADR response, please email Jonathan Nurse, AADR Director of Government Affairs, at jnurse@aadronline.org by April 8, 2013.

NIH Notice NOT-OD-13-045

Revisiting the Origins of Budget Sequestration

President Obama signs the Budget Control Act of 2011

With a sequester of the federal budget now a reality, some are asking: “How did we get here?” Neither the White House nor Congress are accepting attribution for the idea.

Budget sequestration stems back to the US debt-ceiling crisis in the summer of 2011. At the time, there was a fierce debate over the ability of the federal government to borrow additional money to pay its bills. The term “debt ceiling” refers to the government’s legal borrowing limit. At the time, the debt limit of 14.29 trillion dollars had been reached. The government faced an August 3rd, 2011 default on its obligations, if it not allowed to borrow additional capital. With just days to spare, Democrats and Republicans reached a deal known as the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). The legislation raised the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts to reduce the deficit. The BCA put in place spending cuts for a period of ten years (2012-2021), for a total of 2.4 trillion dollars; 1.5 trillion dollars of the total was to come from discretionary spending, half of which was of the non-defense discretionary (NDD) category. As a result, NDD spending was set on a course to fall to its lowest level on record, as a share of GDP, with data going back to 1962.  Continue reading