A total of 145 Members of the House of Representatives signed a Nov. 18 letter urging the House Appropriations Committee to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at a level of at least $32 billion in any forthcoming appropriations legislation.
The bipartisan letter was organized by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
“Insufficient funding for NIH has a serious, wide-ranging impact on our nation’s health and our capacity for medical innovation in the 21st century,” the letter states, adding, “If we are serious about breaking new ground in our understanding of complex diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer, and if we hope to accelerate the speed with which new cures, treatments and vaccines are developed, then it’s absolutely essential that we increase funding for medical research at NIH.”
Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved funding increases for NIH in fiscal year (FY) 2016. The House bill (H.R. 3020) proposes $31.2 billion for NIH, while the Senate bill (S. 1695) provides $32.1 billion, a $2 billion (6.7 percent) increase above FY 2015.
The AAMC and the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research were among a number of national organizations that supported the letter.