AADR Submits Testimony Urging Congress to Increase Funding for NIH/NIDCR

Today, AADR President Dr. Timothy DeRouen submitted written testimony on behalf of AADR urging Congress to provide $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health and $425 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in the fiscal year 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation bill.  The testimony highlighted the important contributions of dental, oral and craniofacial research but acknowledged that the recent austerity measures will have a significant impact on progress.  Dr. DeRouen urged Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to undo sequestration permanently and prioritize funding for research this year.

Gert Quigley Fellowship Application Deadline Extended

AADR extended the deadline for applications for the Gert Quigley Government Affairs
Fellowship. Applications are due now due on April 11, 2014.

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.

NIH Director Testifies Before Congress

Earlier this week Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) testified before the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee about the fiscal year 2015 budget request for NIH. Dr. Collins expressed his gratitude for the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 as providing much needed increased funding for NIH.  He noted the significant impact of sequestration and partial government shutdown as creating challenges to advances in groundbreaking medical research.  During the hearing many members of Congress articulated their support for NIH, but disagreed about the mechanism to provide increased funding in this tough budget climate. While dental, oral and craniofacial research were not specifically mentioned many members of Congress spoke about pancreatic cancer and the need for earlier detection.

Click here to watch the hearing.

President Obama’s FY15 Budget Request

Yesterday, President Obama presented his FY15 budget request to Congress. This budget adheres to the caps or the overall amount of funding available for discretionary spending as dictated by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and proposes cuts and reforms to make room for, “investments in priority areas such as research, clean energy, early learning and ending homelessness.” The budget released yesterday only includes top line funding levels. Additional detailed information is expected to be released later this week.

Specifically the FY15 President’s budget proposes the following:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), $30.2 billion in total budget authority, an approximate 1% increase over the FY14 level of $30 billion
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), $397.13 million, a $1.5 million or 0.3% decrease from the FY14 appropriated level of $398.65 million or a .01% increase from the FY14 final enacted level of $397.102 million
  • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, $657.47 million, a $24.2 million or 3.6% increase over the FY14 level of $633.27 million
  • National Science Foundation, $7.255 billion, a 1.2% or $83 million increase from the FY14 level of $7.171 billion
  • Agency for Health Research and Quality $334 million in base discretionary authority, a 8.2% or $30 million decrease from the FY14 level of $364 million.

The President is also proposing increased funding for research through the, “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative.” This program if enacted by Congress would provide an additional $28 billion for non defense discretionary programs paid for via tax reforms and changes in mandatory programs. This proposal would include an additional $970 million for the National Institutes of Health, “to increase the number of grants funded and invest in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative (BRAIN).” At this time it is unclear if this proposal would boost funding to other institutes, like NIDCR at the NIH. Also, it is important to note, these proposed targeted increases included in the “Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative,” are not included in the aforementioned agency funding proposals outlined above.

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

AADR will continue to advocate for Congress to provide $32 billion for NIH and $425
million for NIDCR in the FY15 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriation Bill.

For additional information click the links below:
Office of Management and Budget Overview
Department of Health and Human Services Budget Appendix
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Congressional Justification