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  • Washington Highlights

    House Members Introduce Research Relief Bill


    Christa Wagner, Manager, Government Relations
    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    Seven House members introduced bipartisan legislation on June 24 to authorize approximately $26 billion to support federal research agencies and their grantees who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

    The Research Investment to Secure the Economy (RISE) Act (H.R. 7308) aims to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 to the U.S. research enterprise by providing emergency relief to federal science agencies, including a proposed $10 billion investment in the National Institutes of Health. The AAMC has joined over 140 organizations, institutions, and societies in endorsing this legislation.

    Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) are original co-sponsors.

    “While coronavirus-related research is now in overdrive, most other research has been slowed down or stopped altogether due to pandemic-induced closures of campuses and laboratories. Now, tens of thousands of graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators and other technical support staff are at risk of losing their employment and their work without federal relief,” said the co-sponsors' press release.

    AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, sent a June 25 letter of thanks to the co-sponsors, noting the legislation’s importance in “preserving our nation’s investment in research across federal science agencies and in ensuring that we do not lose ground in innovation and discovery.” The letter concludes, “The U.S.’s economic vitality and global competitiveness are both favorably enhanced by the federal commitment to research, and a thriving, diverse national science agenda also is essential to help the nation address the current crisis and build resilience against future threats.”

    The introduction of the RISE Act follows an April 29 letter sent to House leadership by nearly 200 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives urging the inclusion of $26 billion in supplemental funding to federal research agencies in a future COVID-19 emergency supplemental spending bill [see Washington Highlights, May 1].

    The AAMC joined the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the American Council on Education in a May 27 letter to Senate leadership urging at least $26 billion in supplemental COVID-19 emergency relief funding to federal research agencies to support the nation’s university research and scientific enterprise [see Washington Highlights, May 29].