AADR and FNIDCR Oppose the Administration’s Budget Reduction Request for Fiscal Year 2017

Last night, the Trump Administration released a proposal to cut $17.9 billion from non-defense discretionary spending to offset the Administration’s military supplemental request and the proposed wall along the Mexican border in the current fiscal year (FY17). Included in this document obtained by Politico is a proposal to cut $1.2 billion from the National Institutes of Health. Specifically, the Administration proposes $50 million cuts from IDeA grants and reducing research grants by $1.18 billion. AADR and the Friends of NIDCR issued a statement opposing this proposal and urging Congress to reject it.

In addition to the cuts at NIH, of concern to AADR, the Administration proposes the reductions outlined below:

  • -$11 million from the Office of Minority Health
  • -$50 million from the Agency of Health Care Research and Quality
  • -$65 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to “eliminate or reduce less effective or duplicative research programs such as the Prevention Research Centers, Climate Change, and Tobacco Prevention Research.”
  • -$50 million to the CDC domestic HIV/AIDS program
  • -$50 million to the Global HIV/AIDS program.
  • -$170 million to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) health professions programs and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant’s special projects (SPRANS).
  • -$350 million from the National Science Foundation

It is important to note, this proposal is separate and different from President Trump’s FY18 skinny budget request. “The FY 2017 Reduction Options” released yesterday would cut funding in the current fiscal year after the current continuing resolution expires on April 28th. As of today, it appears that Congress will not support these funding reductions. According to an article in Politico, House appropriations stated this request from the Administration is, “…too late in the process to affect the outcome of the spending legislation for the current fiscal year.”

What’s next? AADR and FNIDCR will continue to advocate that Congress provide predictable, sustained and increased funding for NIH, NIDCR and other oral health programs in the upcoming year.

What can you do? Please click here to either call or email your member of Congress and urge them to reject these cuts.

Questions? Please email any questions or concerns to the AADR Director of Government Affairs Carolyn Mullen at cmullen@aadr.org

President’s FY18 Budget Proposes 20% Cut to NIH

Today, President Trump released a “skinny” budget request for fiscal year 2018. This budget proposes an unprecedented $5.8 billion or 20% cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also requests a major reorganization of NIH’s Institutes and Centers. AADR and FNIDCR issued a statement today opposing the budget and urged Congress to reject this proposal.

According to the text provided in the budget blueprint, the President’s 2018 Budget:

“Reduces the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) spending relative to the 2017 annualized CR level by $5.8 billion to $25.9 billion. The Budget includes a major reorganization of NIH’s Institutes and Centers to help focus resources on the highest priority research and training activities including: eliminating the Fogarty International Center; consolidating the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within NIH; and other consolidations and structural changes across NIH organizations and activities. The Budget also reduces administrative costs and rebalances Federal contributions to research funding.”

Additionally, the budget proposes to eliminate $403 million in health professions and nursing training programs. It also proposes to “reform” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a new $500 million block grant to increase State flexibility and focus on health challenges specific to each state.

At this time, the budget does not provide additional information about the reorganization plan for NIH and what specific programs are eliminated at HRSA or CDC. This information will be made available when a more detailed budget is expected to be released in May, 2017.

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

 What’s Next? AADR and FNIDCR will continue to advocate that Congress provide predictable, sustained and increased funding for NIH, NIDCR and other oral health programs in the upcoming year.

What can you do? Now more than ever you must make your voice heard. While it is unlikely that cuts of this magnitude will become enacted, however if Congress doesn’t hear from dental, oral and craniofacial researchers it will put NIDCR in a precarious position. Please click here to send an email to your member of Congress. Also, invite your member of Congress to tour your laboratory. Congress is less likely to cut funding for programs and research when they better understand its value.

Questions Please email any questions or concerns to the AADR Director of Government Affairs Carolyn Mullen at cmullen@aadr.org

AADR and Friends of NIDCR Submit Written Testimony

Last week, AADR President Dr. Jack Ferracane submitted written testimony on behalf of AADR and the Friends of NIDCR urging Congress to provide at least a $2 billion increase over the FY17 level for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $452 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in the fiscal year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation bill. Moreover, since the federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution through April 28, 2017, he urged Congress to approve the bi-partisan Senate FY17 LHHS Appropriation bill which includes $34.1 billion for NIH and $430.5 million for NIDCR, immediately. He also noted that with the return of full sequestration next year, AADR and Friends of NIDCR strongly urged Congress from making further reductions in non-defense discretionary programs and work to replace the scheduled sequestration cuts through a package that is balanced—both in how such relief is paid for and how it is applied to non-defense discretionary programs.

IADR/AADR Update President Trump Signs New Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” on March 6, 2017

On March 6, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The previous Executive Order 13769 signed on January 27, 2017 is effectively replaced with this order. The new Executive Order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2017.

Specifically, beginning on March 16, 2017, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen who are outside the United States and did not have a valid visa at 5:00 EST on January 27, 2017 and do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order are not eligible for entry into the United States for 90 days. Foreign nationals from the six countries listed above who have valid visas will not be affected by this Executive Order. No visas will be revoked solely based on this Executive Order. This order applies to both nationals and citizens of Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

It is important to note that Iraqi citizens are not affected by this Executive Order.

Also, any individual whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry. Any prior cancellation or revocation of a visa that was solely pursuant to Executive Order 13769 shall not be the basis of inadmissibility for any future determination about entry or admissibility.

The Executive Order does not apply to certain individuals, such as the following:

  • Lawful permanent residents of the United States;
  • Foreign nationals admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the effective date of the order;
  • Any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on the effective date of this order or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document;
  • Dual nationals when travelling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
  • Foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic type visa, NATO visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visas; and
  • Any foreign national who has been granted asylum; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State have the discretionary authority, on a case-by-case basis to issue visas or allow the entry of nationals of these six countries into the United States when a national from one of the countries demonstrates that the denial of entry would cause undue hardship, that his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and that his or her entry would be in the national interest. One of the areas suggested for consideration of a waiver include, “The foreign national seeks to enter the United States for a significant business or professional obligation and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations.”

The Department of State will restrict the Visa Interview Waiver Program and require additional nonimmigrant visa applicants to undergo an in-person interview.

What does this mean? This new Executive Order replaces the previous order signed on January 27, 2017 which is currently undergoing litigation in the U.S. Court system. As of March 6, 2017 it is unclear how the U.S. courts will respond to this new Executive Order.

What is the IADR/AADR Position? While the new Executive Order clarifies that current visa holders are allowed to travel to the United States, IADR/AADR remain concerned that this Executive Order will have a negative impact on the global scientific community. These Executive Orders have a direct impact on the IADR General Session in San Francisco, California scheduled for March 2017. Specifically, by restricting the movement of scientists and exchange of research findings, they will impair IADR and AADR’s ability to achieve its mission of advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide.

As we strive towards our mission, IADR and AADR are committed to our diverse membership and will always be an inclusive community of dental, oral and craniofacial researchers for membership, meetings and our publications. We will continue to work with Congress and the Administration so they better understand the detrimental impact policies such as these have on the exchange of information and the scientific enterprise at large.

 

For More Information:

Click here to read the new Executive Order signed on March 6, 2017

Click here to read a fact sheet authored by the Trump Administration and obtained by the Washington Post

AADR Joins 2,000 Organizations in Support of Non-Defense Discretionary Programs

In fiscal year (FY) 2018 full sequestration returns with a scheduled $3 billion cut for non-defense discretionary programs. Moreover, sequestration coupled with the Trump Administration’s recent proposal to increase defense spending by $54 billion and using cuts to non-defense discretionary pogroms to pay for it, increases the likelihood for significant cuts biomedical research and public health programs in the upcoming fiscal year. While Congress makes the final spending decisions and the reception to President Trump’s FY18 leaked budget proposal on Capitol Hill was lukewarm at best, AADR and the rest of the advocacy community remain extremely concerned that macro budget issues will continue to impact Congress’s ability to provide sustained, increased and predictable funding for the National Institutes of Health.

To help reinforce the importance of non-defense discretionary programs AADR joined with 2,000 national, state, and local organizations in a letter urging Congress to ensure adequate funding for programs funded through annual appropriations, continue the bipartisan practice of providing relief from sequestration budget cuts and oppose any new efforts to cut these programs more deeply.  Importantly, the letter notes that these “nondefense discretionary” (NDD) programs serve many vital national needs but have been subject to repeated cuts over the past six years, including through the appropriations caps and sequestration process established by the 2011 Budget Control Act.  The organizations urged Congress to avoid making further reductions in these programs and work to replace the scheduled sequestration cuts through a package that is balanced—both in how such relief is paid for and how it is applied to defense and NDD programs.

AADR will continue to monitor the budget developments closely and advocate for increased funding for NIH, NIDCR and other important public health programs.

Gert Quigley Fellowship Application Period Open

AADR is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2017-2018 Gert Quigley Government Affairs Fellowship. 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.

Applications are due by April 1, 2017!

AADR FNIDCR Advocacy Day Recap

Rep. Simpson, DMD (R-ID) provides welcoming remarks.

On February 28, 2017 deans, researchers, students and patients from throughout the country participated in the 2017 AADR and Friends of NIDCR Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. The purpose of the advocacy day was to persuade Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Central to this advocacy day was the inclusion of the voice of patient advocates, combined with a robust participation of students, researchers, professors and deans from dental schools.

AADR President Jack Ferracane presents Adam Parikh with the Student Advocate of the Year Award

Prior to advocating on behalf of oral health research our members attended a morning briefing session in the Russell Senate Office Building where they were provided with the tools and information necessary to conduct successful meetings with Congress. Participants were encouraged to continue the conversation with their members of Congress after leaving Capitol Hill and invite policymakers to tour their lab and university facilities.  Dr. Martha Somerman, director of NIDCR also provided an update about initiatives and priorities at her agency.  During the briefing, Adam Parikh, a student at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Illinois, was presented with the student advocate of the year award, by the AADR president, Jack Ferracane. Rep. Simpson, DMD (R-ID) and Rep. Gosar, DMD (R-AZ) also welcomed AADR and FNIDCR members to Capitol Hill.

Our members conducted over 70 meetings with members of Congress. During these meetings they urged Congress to provide funding for fiscal year 2017, fiscal year 2018 and asked members of the US House of Representatives to join the oral health caucus. Also to amplify our message on Capitol Hill, AADR issued an action alert, which enabled individuals to participate virtually in our Advocacy Day. To date, advocates sent 99 emails to members of Congress. Reports from Advocacy Day participants indicated that Congress is generally supportive of increasing funding for NIH.

Students and Patient Advocates

Finally, AADR and FNIDCR would like to express our gratitude to the American Dental Association; Procter and Gamble; the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and Cavarocchi, Ruscio, Dennis and Associates for sponsoring this Advocacy Day. As a result of their support AADR and FNIDCR were able to provide travel funding for 12 patient advocates and students to attend advocacy day.

The AADR and Friends of NIDCR Government Affairs team invites all members of the dental research, education and patient community to engage their elected officials regularly, but at least on an annual basis through the Advocacy Day program to communicate the importance of dental, oral and craniofacial research. If you would like to become more involved with AADR and Friends of NIDCR advocacy efforts please contact Carolyn Mullen, director of government affairs and contact your elected representatives through the online Legislative Action Center.

Advocacy Day Participants from Maryland met with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)

FDA commissions National Academies study on e-cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has commissioned a report on the health effects of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), or e-cigarettes, following a congressional directive that accompanied the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2016. FDA charged a committee of experts at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Math (NASEM) with reviewing the available research on the health effects of ENDS in users, non-users, and vulnerable populations, such as youth and pregnant women. FDA also asked for a list of research gaps to inform ENDS regulation.

During a recent committee workshop, speakers from industry, academia, and nonprofit research centers reviewed product information, user demographics, and toxicity of ENDS products. Speakers also presented information on qualitative, in vitro, and population modeling tools for evaluating both individual and population health effects of ENDS use. A representative from the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA), an ENDS trade association, also spoke to the committee about attempts by the industry to regulate itself and the wide range of ENDS products available to consumers. It was clear from the presentations, panel discussions, and committee questions that understanding ENDS culture and terminology is a challenge for researchers and one that the committee will have to grapple with when making its final report to the FDA.

The commissioned review is another indication of the government’s interest in this increasingly popular tobacco product.  As was previously reported on the blog, the finalized “deeming rule” gave the FDA new authority to regulate ENDS and other tobacco products. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research awarded grants for several ongoing studies on the biological and physiological effects of e-cigarette aerosols, and the United States Preventive Services Task Force included e-cigarettes as a high-priority research area in its latest report to Congress. In December 2016, the Surgeon General began new health promotion efforts aimed at steering youth and young adults away from ENDS following the release of a nearly 300-page report on the use of ENDS products in those groups.

However, the “deeming rule” is controversial among advocates who consider ENDS to be safer than combustible cigarettes and as a potential smoking cessation device, despite a lack of evidence to back up those claims. The FDA’s regulatory authority over ENDS was previously targeted in an appropriations bill, which was opposed by AADR, and is a target for roll back by the Freedom Caucus in the 115th Congress.

AADR submitted comments to the committee urging members to include oral health effects in the review and to identify gaps in the research on oral health effects of ENDS. AADR’s comments to the Committee can be found here. Please continue to check the blog or subscribe for updates on this activity. Please contact Seun Ajiboye (sajiboye@iadr.org) with any feedback on this issue.