Last week the Senate Commerce Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee approved its fiscal year 2017 appropriation bill. The CJS bill proposes funding allocations for the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies. For NSF specifically, the Senate allocated approximately $7.5 billion, an increase of $46 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and a $55 million decrease from the President’s discretionary budget request of $7.564 billion. Importantly, the CJS Subcommittee did not include the President’s Budget request to include mandatory funding to boost spending at NSF.
Additionally, according to a summary provided by FASEB, “Despite the small size of the proposed increase, the committee’s summary of the bill emphasizes the important role of the Foundation in funding basic research across scientific disciplines.”
AADR will continue to closely monitor these developments and work in partnership with the Coalition for National Science Funding as this bill moves forward.
This month, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the allocations known as 302(b)s for the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bills. Importantly, these allocations adhere to the $1.07 trillion top line number established by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The Senate Labor Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriation bill will receive $161.857 billion, which is an approximate $270 million decrease from fiscal year 2016 level of $162.167 billion. Under these reduced allocations it will be virtually impossible for programs to receive meaningful increases without decreasing or level funding other programs under the jurisdiction of this legislation. According to a statement released by the Coalition for Health Funding:
While the allocation of $161.9 billion represents a cut of $270 million to these critical programs, under the austere budgetary caps, relatively flat funding appears to be a fair allocation of the cuts required to most subcommittees that fund NDD programs and is a best case scenario. While it may be that this allocation is the best we can hope for under the current budget environment, it should not be the best we can do for the American people. Congress and the President must work together to end sequestration once and for all to ensure that we can make the investments we need in the Labor-HHS bill and across all nondefense discretionary programs.
The House on the other hand continues to argue over the top line allocations for discretionary spending. They have not yet reached an agreement and Chairman Rogers indicated he will be releasing the 302(b) allocations when the committee reviews each one of the appropriations bills.
Unfortunately, the persistent austere budget climate continues to put a strain on discretionary spending. AADR will continue to partner with the broader public health community and urge Congress to undo sequestration and these austerity measures once and for all.
AADR is pleased to announce the selection of KyuLim Lee from the University of Florida College of Dentistry as the 2016-17 Gert Quigley Fellow. Ms. Lee is currently enrolled in the DMD/PhD program and is the President of the AADR Florida Chapter Student Research Group. As a result of Ms. Lee’s research she was selected to compete at the 2014 AADR Meeting, Johnson & Johnson Hatton Competition where she was awarded first place. She also competed in the IADR Unilever Hatton Competition in Cape Town, South Africa and received second place. In 2012, Ms. Lee received her B.S. in food science and human nutrition from the University of Florida. Ms. Lee has a keen interest in advocacy and stated, “My research experience has taught me an important aspect of research: a cure for a disease is not discovered overnight. The discoveries result from years of incremental research. Being actively involved in both dental research and organized dentistry, I realize participating in the process of how research gets funded is critical. Research is the future of dentistry and advocating the importance of continuous funding for dental research is very important.”
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 2017-18 Gert Quigley Public Policy Fellowship will be available in March 2017.
Today, AADR President Dr. Jack Ferracane submitted written testimony on behalf of AADR and the Friends of NIDCR urging Congress to provide at least $34.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health and $452 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in the fiscal year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation bill. The testimony thanked Congress for their support of NIH and NIDCR. He also urged Congress to build on this momentum and continue to provide predictable and sustainable funding for NIH and NIDCR this year and beyond. Additionally, Dr. Ferracane discussed the impact and hope NIDCR brings to millions of patients with a wide range of conditions that impeded quality of life, are physically debilitating and create a major financial and social burden.