The AAMC Nov. 2 joined a community letter, organized by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, urging House and Senate leaders to enact a bicameral, bipartisan budget agreement that raises the spending caps and enables a $36.1 billion investment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The letter was signed by 216 organizations.
Signatories of the letter thank congressional leaders for maintaining the NIH as a key national priority but caution that “without relief from sequestration, final funding for critical federal agencies like the NIH could face significant hurdles.” The letter adds that while the United States is known for its outstanding medical research capacity, “discretionary spending caps imposed by sequestration will jeopardize our competitive edge in an increasingly innovation-based global marketplace. To maintain our leadership, we must reaffirm this commitment by providing the biomedical research enterprise the support needed to maintain our competitive edge.”
Although both the House and Senate Appropriations committees proposed increases to NIH funding in fiscal year (FY) 2018 [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 8], much of Washington is not anticipating further appropriations actions until Dec. 8 – the expiration date of the current continuing resolution [See Washington Highlights, Sept. 8]. Unless Congress agrees to raise budgetary spending caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25), federal agencies will likely face additional spending cuts in FY 2018.
The AAMC convenes the Ad Hoc Group, which is a coalition of patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry, dedicated to enhancing the federal investment in biomedical, behavioral, social, and population-based research supported by NIH.