FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2016
|CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
NAEVR Recognizes House Efforts to Grow Biomedical Research Funding at NIH for Second Year
(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) issued a statement upon the July 14 approval by the House Appropriations Committee of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) spending bill that was marked up by the LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee on July 7. The bill funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $33.3 billion, a $1.25 billion or 3.9 percent increase over FY2016, and the National Eye Institute (NEI) at $735.6 million, a $27.6 million increase over its FY2016 Operational Net of $708 million. The Senates bill increases NIH funding by $2 billion to $34 billion and NEI by $32.8 million to $740.8 million. NAEVR had requested FY2017 NIH funding at $34.5 billion and NEI at $770 million.
NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky said:
NAEVR recognizes the House Appropriations Committee for approving the $1.25 billion increase included in the Subcommittees FY2017 spending bill for the NIH, which reflects a second year increase. We especially commend LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) for his comments that he views the bill as a floor, not a ceiling, for biomedical research funding, and that he looks to work with his Senate counterpart Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) to increase the number as the process moves forward.
NAEVR is disappointed that the bills NEI funding level of $735.6 million falls short of the $770 million requested, as does the Senate bill. The Alliance will continue to impress upon Congress the importance of robust funding for the Institutes and Centers, in addition to the funding of new NIH initiatives. After all, vision health is critical to the productivity, independence, and quality of life of all Americans.
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.