|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2007
|CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
NAEVR COMMENDS CONGRESS FOR PASSING FY2007 JOINT RESOLUTION TO INCREASE NIH FUNDING
(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) commended the United States Congress for finalizing Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 appropriations. The Senate passed the full-year Joint Funding Resolution (JR) by a vote of 81-15, just prior to the February 15 expiration date of the Continuing Resolution which had kept all non-defense/homeland security government operations running. The House had passed the bill on January 31 by a vote of 286-140, with 57 Republicans supporting the measure.
The JR increases National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding by $620 million, a significant portion of which ($483 million) directly funds the newly-established "common fund" for trans-Institute NIH research and a program to ensure grants for new investigators. Due to this appropriation for the common fund, individual Institutes will not have to make a contribution from their budgets, resulting in a net increase of program dollars that they can direct. In the case of the National Eye Institute (NEI), this translates into $8 million more for vision research grants in FY2007 as compared to FY2006.
"NAEVR commends both the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittee leaders—Chair Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Chair Cong. David Obey (D-WI) and Ranking member Cong. James Walsh (R-NY), respectively—for their leadership in increasing the level of FY2007 NIH funding in a bill that is primarily a continuation of FY2006 funding," said NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky. He added that the vision community will support NEI efforts to compete for common fund and new investigator dollars directly appropriated in the legislation.
The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVR’s goal is to achieve the best vision for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI) and other federal research entities. Visit NAEVR’s Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.