NAEVR Thanks Senate for NIH/NEI Funding Increases in FY2022 Bill, Urges Action to Finalize Appropriations
(Washington, DC) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) released a statement after the Senate Appropriations Committee released nine of the remaining Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 appropriations bills and reports, including the Labor. Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) spending bill. It proposes to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $47.9 billion, a $4.99 billion or 11.6 percent increase over the enacted FY2021 level, including funding the NIH base at $45.52 billion, a $2.6 billion or six percent increase, as well as fund the National Eye Institute (NEI) at $857.9 million, a $22.16 million or 2.65 percent increase over the FY2021 level. The bill also funds the proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health (ARPA-H) at $2.4 billion through September 30, 2024. NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky said the following:
“NAEVR is grateful to Senate LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and full committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for their leadership in including in the Senate’s FY2022 LHHS spending bill a seventh straight year of meaningful funding growth in the NIH budget through a proposed $4.99 billion increase, including a $2.6 billion increase for the NIH’s base budget to support life-saving and quality-of-life enhancing research across the Institutes and Centers (I/Cs).
Additionally we appreciate that, as in the House-passed bill, the Senate bill ensures that the new investment for the proposed ARPA-H supplements, rather than supplants, the NIH’s base. Strong funding for NIH’s base budget is critical to the success of this new research initiative.
Regarding NEI funding, the proposed 2.65 percent increase is just slightly greater than the current biomedical inflation rate of 2.4 percent, meaning that there is minimal growth. NEI’s purchasing power in FY2021 is less than that in FY2012 due to past less-than-inflation increases. NAEVR urges the Senate and House to work together without delay to finalize FY2022 appropriations that include the $3.5 billion increase in the NIH base budget as passed by the House, which enables the five percent inflation-plus-growth increases for the I/Cs, including the NEI.
Support for medical research has been a longstanding bipartisan priority, and as we thank both Chairwoman Murray and Ranking Member Blunt for their history of leadership in this area, we also urge that same spirit of bipartisanship to guide quick resolution to FY2022 LHHS appropriations, as the current Continuing Resolution slows the progress of ongoing biomedical research and precludes investment in new programs.”
The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit the Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.