In a strong showing, a cohort of more than 200 House Republicans and Democrats March 31 joined together on a letter to the House Appropriations Committee in support of continued investment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal year (FY) 2018. Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), and Peter King (R-N.Y.) championed the letter.
Citing the importance of NIH and its impact on America’s health and economy, the letter requests that “NIH receives an increase of at least $2 billion above Fiscal Year (FY) 2017” in FY 2018. This request is consistent with the recommendation put forward by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, a coalition convened by the AAMC.
Additionally, the letter reiterates the broad impact of the work carried out by NIH, stating, “In addition to bettering the lives of millions, NIH funding supports over 400,000 non-federal scientists and technical personnel at 2,500 research universities and facilities nationwide. Their work drives the demand for medical supplies and research equipment. NIH funding ripples far beyond its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, to benefit manufacturers and suppliers in every states in America.”
In a press statement, Rep. Davis explained, “Life-saving and life-improving discoveries are regularly made in America and our nation’s investment in medical research fuels those discoveries.” Additionally, she stated, “If America is to continue as a world leader in innovation and medical research, robust funding for the NIH will be key to that. Besides medical breakthroughs, NIH funding supports our economy and thousands of jobs.”
The new administration has proposed various budget reductions to NIH. The White House March 16 released an FY 2018 budget blueprint that requests a $5.8 billion (18 percent) cut to NIH [see Washington Highlights, March 17]. Further, the administration submitted a separate request that included a $1.232 billion cut to NIH in FY 2017 [see Washington Highlights, March 31].