Yesterday, Congress approved a short term continuing resolution (CR) (H.J. Res 124) to fund the federal government at 0.0554 percent below fiscal year 2014 levels through December 11, 2014. This legislation was overwhelming approved by a 78-22 vote in the Senate and a 319-108 vote in the House. According to CQ Healthbeat, this legislation also included a measure regarding Syria authorization, $88 million for anti-Ebola efforts and additional funding for disability claims processing at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Congress adjourned yesterday and will return home to campaign for the upcoming election. At this point, it is unclear how Congress will fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year after this CR expires. Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski D-Md. and Chairman Hal Rogers R-Ky. are pushing for an “omnibus bill” or legislation detailing specific and updated funding levels for all federal agencies. This approach would provide budget certainty for the federal government. AADR will continue to encourage Congress to prioritize funding for dental, oral and craniofacial research in the upcoming months.
Yesterday, AADR joined over 300 national organizations in support of the Rally for Medical Research. The purpose of the Rally is to call on our nation’s policymakers to make funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a national priority and raise awareness about the importance of continued investment in medical research that leads to more progress, more hope and more lives saved.
During the lobby day, AADR led a group of advocates from New Hampshire and met with Senators Ayotte R-N.H., Representative Shea-Porter D-N.H., and staff from Senator Shaheen, D-N.H., and Representative Kuster’s D-N.H. offices. All of the elected officials agreed to make sustained and adequate funding for NIH a priority, which in turn can help to boost funding for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
To help amplify our voice on Capitol Hill and carry this message to your elected officials simply click here to email Congress and urge them to increase funding for NIH and NIDCR.
This week the Democratic members of the Labor, Health and Human Services Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee unveiled their version of the fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriation bill. This legislation proposes $30.6 billion for the NIH, a $778 million increase over fiscal year 2014. This funding restores NIH to its pre-sequester level. The House Democrats also propose $404.8 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, an $8.2 million increase over FY14. Importantly, the Democratic members do not intend to release report language accompanying the bill and the increased funding were provided via changes in mandatory programs or rescissions.
This legislation is viewed by many as a symbolic gesture since the Majority House Republicans have not yet released an official draft bill.
For additional information click here to read Rep. DeLauro’s, D-Conn. press release.
This month AADR joined the scientific community expressing our concern and opposition to the Conference Accountability Act of 2013 (S. 1347). If adopted this legislation would raise existing barriers and perpetuate unintended negative consequences on the ability of federal and contractor scientists to participate in scientific conferences. Unfortunately, this legislation was recently approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, but it is uncertain when or if the full Senate will consider the bill. AADR will continue to partner with organizations in opposition to S. 1347.
Last night, House Appropriations Chairman Rogers introduced a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) (H.J.Res 124) to fund the federal government at 0.0554 percent below fiscal year 2014 levels until December 11, 2014. This bill contains additional $88 million to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Since the legislation must adhere to the budget cap level of $1.012 trillion an across the board cut of 0.0554 percent was administered to pay for additional funding included in the bill. According to a press release issued by Chairman Rogers, “This bill is clean and does not contain highly controversial provisions.”
Congress is expected to quickly approve the bill before adjourning and returning home to campaign before the November election. After the November election Congress could then either approve another short term CR through March or a yearlong CR depending on whether the Republicans gain control of the Senate. At this time, it is unclear what the final funding level for the remainder of fiscal year 2015 will be for the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and other oral health programs. AADR will continue to update our members about these developments and advocate for increased funding for dental, oral and craniofacial research.
For additional information click here to read Chairman Rogers press release.
This week water fluoridation opponents are planning to lobby members of Congress. They intend to end community water fluoridation, ask for congressional hearings and request that Congress de-fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Oral Health. AADR is joining the American Dental Association and other organizations in encouraging the oral health and public health communities to send an email to members of Congress today to explain the importance of water fluoridation.
Take Action: Click here to email your member of Congress about the benefits of community water fluoridation