NAEVR Supports Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research's Statement on NIH Funding in the House FY2021 LHHS Spending Bill
(Washington, D.C.) (Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) supported the statement issued by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research—of which it is a member—regarding the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 spending bill’s funding of NIH at $47 billion, reflecting a $5.5 billion increase comprised of $500 million over the FY2020 enacted level as well as $5 billion in emergency appropriations. The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research stated:
“The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research is grateful that the Subcommittee continues to recognize the NIH as a key national priority despite the restrictive subcommittee funding allocation imposed by the impractical pre-pandemic discretionary spending caps.
The federal investment in NIH supports research nationwide to improve health through new and better diagnostics, preventive interventions, and treatments, and the Subcommittee’s mark can help advance research across a wide range of diseases and conditions. In addition to the critical role NIH is playing in combatting COVID-19, it is essential to ensure NIH is able to advance new research across the full range of threats that patients everywhere face on a daily basis. To achieve this goal, meaningful sustained growth in the NIH’s base budget is necessary. Additionally, NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has testified that an estimated $10 billion in emergency funding is needed to restart shuttered laboratories and research after the pandemic forced labs to suspend their work, in addition to emergency funding for other COVID-related emergency needs.
We welcome the $47 billion provided for the NIH in the Subcommittee’s FY2021draft, though we recognize that the unworkable spending caps forced $5 billion of this funding to be provided outside of the NIH’s base budget. If coupled with additional emergency supplemental spending legislation to provide at least $10 billion in dedicated research relief for NIH, the Subcommittee’s FY2021 bill would represent an important investment to advance new progress toward cures.
House Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-Okla.) are longstanding champions for medical research and the NIH, and we are grateful that the Subcommittee has worked quickly under tight budget caps at the beginning of the FY2021 appropriations process, which is just getting underway amidst a global pandemic. The Ad Hoc Group looks forward to working with lawmakers in both chambers toward enactment of a bipartisan FY2021 bill that provides a robust investment like this across the NIH in addition to dedicated funding to combat the current public health emergency and its impact on medical research.“
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.