Budget Deal Approved: Now is the Time to Act!

 

This week, the Senate by a vote of 64-35 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 266-167 approved a two year budget deal that would  raise the debt ceiling, increase federal spending and potentially avert a government shutdown in December. This proposal would provide sequestration relief by lifting the budget caps for both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) for two years. Specifically, in fiscal year 2016 NDD caps would be raised by $25 billion and by $15 billion in fiscal year 2017. The President is expected to sign this bill into law.

Non-defense discretionary funding provides resources for many facets of the federal government from education, to law enforcement, to biomedical research and other important programs.  AADR in partnership with the Coalition for Health Funding and NDD United has long advocated for Congress to increase the caps on discretionary spending so the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other public health programs can have stable, predictable and increased funding. Congressional approval of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 represents a huge accomplishment for the advocacy community.

 What’s Next? Congress will begin the process to develop revised and increased allocations for the appropriations subcommittees to begin their work to develop the bills to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2016.

Take Action Now! This is a critical time to weigh in and you must make increased funding for NIH and NIDCR a reality! Now that a budget deal is in place we need you to click here to email your member of Congress and urge them to adopt a robust 302(b) allocation for the Labor-HHS-Education bill and adopt the Senate FY16 LHHS funding levels for the NIH which included $32 billion for NIH and $415 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

AADR Calls on Congress to Vote Yes on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

Today, AADR sent a letter to all members of Congress urging them to vote “YES” on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. AADR firmly believes this legislation is an important step in the right director by providing relief from sequestration and stabilizing the appropriations process for FY2016 and FY2017.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on this bill today with the Senate voting on it sometime during the next week.

 

 

AADR and ASBMB Co-Author Op-Ed Calling on Congress to fund Biomedical Research

Today, AADR director of government Affairs Carolyn Mullen and ASBMB director of public affairs Benjamin Corb co-authored an op-ed that was published in the Hill calling on Congress to deliver on its promises for biomedical research. According to Mullen and Corb:

“Unfortunately the current austerity frame dictated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 makes it essentially impossible to increase funding for the NIH without deep cuts to other public health programs. President Obama and many members of Congress oppose legislation that locks in sequestration this fiscal year. The research community, as part of the larger public health sphere, also fears if deep cuts to other public health programs move forward, we will not have the workforce, drugs or infrastructure to bring the results of our research to light. Thus, absent a budget deal to raise the caps on discretionary spending, there is a real possibility the NIH and other public health programs will receive flat funding for another year, further crippling the biomedical research enterprise.

Click here to read the entire article.

 

 

Budget Deal Released

Late last night, Congressional leadership and the White House announced a plan to raise the debt ceiling, increase federal spending and potentially avert a government shutdown in December. This proposal would provide sequestration relief by lifting the budget caps for both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) for two years. Specifically, in fiscal year 2016 NDD caps would be raised by $25 billion and by $15 billion in fiscal year 2017.

Non-defense discretionary funding provides resources for many facets of the federal government from education, to law enforcement, to biomedical research and other important programs.  AADR in partnership with the Coalition for Health Funding and NDD United has long advocated for Congress to increase the caps on discretionary spending so the National Institutes of Health and other public health programs can have stable, predictable and increased funding. The budget agreement announced last night represents a huge accomplishment for the advocacy community.

What’s Next? The House and Senate will vote on this budget agreement in the upcoming weeks. If the budget deal is approved, the appropriations committees will then work to develop legislation to provide funding at the revised levels for the remainder of the fiscal year, from December 12, 2015-September 30, 2016. At this juncture it is unclear how the additional $25 billion would be allocated to all of the appropriations committees and thus influence the final funding level for the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

AADR will continue to advocate on behalf of our members by first asking Congress to approve the budget deal and then request the highest allocation possible for biomedical research.

Click here for additional information about the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

AADR Supports the Next Generation Researchers Act (S. 2014)

Recently, Senator Collins, R-Maine, and Baldwin D-Wis., introduced the Next Generation Researchers Act (S. 2014). This legislation proposes to create within the NIH Office of the Director the Next Generation of Researchers Initiative through which the Director of NIH shall coordinate all policies and programs within the NIH aimed at promoting and providing opportunities for new researchers and earlier research independence. Through this initiative the director of NIH shall

  • Promote policies and programs that are aimed at improving opportunities for young researchers such as the Pathway to Independence Award and the NIH Directors New Innovator Award.
  • Develop or accelerate policies to promote opportunities for new researchers and earlier research independence.
  • Coordinate and develop systems to enhance workforce data for biomedical postdoctoral researchers and students to help improve tracking of trainees.

According to a fact sheet issued by Senator Baldwin’s office this legislation will also:

  • Direct the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to produce a report evaluating barriers for entry into biomedical research for early-stage scientists and new investigators.The study will evaluate current NIH policies; other legislative, administrative, educational and cultural barriers to providing for a strong, diverse next generation of researchers; and the impact of sequestration and budget constraints on the biomedical workforce.NAS will issue recommendations to Congress and NIH on how to improve and sustain careers in biomedical research for new investigators and to promote earlier research independence.

AADR along with the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), Research!America, the American Heart Association and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) were among the early supporters of this legislation.

 

Click here for more information about the Next Generation Researchers Act (S.2014).

Federal Government Remains Open

This week Congress approved a bill funding the federal government by a mechanism known as a continuing resolution (CR) through December 11, 2015. During the next couple of weeks it is vitally important that Congress develop a long term budget deal to avoid sequestration, raise the caps on discretionary spending and increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and other important oral health programs.  Absent a budget deal, the federal government may shutdown before the holidays.

AADR will continue to advocate on our members behalf during the next two months calling on Congress and the Administration to develop a budget deal.