The Senate June 7 voted to strike provisions in the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S.2943) that would limit biomedical research supported by the Department of Defense (DoD).
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced an amendment to the NDAA that would strike sections 756 and 898 from the NDAA. The Senate approved the amendment by a 66 to 32 vote with over 20 Republicans joining Democrats to support the amendment. Section 756 of the bill would have halted funding for DoD-supported medical research programs unless the Secretary of Defense determines that the program directly impacts service members, potentially disqualifying research programs that have a broader impact, such as research on the well-being of military families. Furthermore, Section 898 of the Senate’s NDAA would have placed extensive acquisition compliance and additional auditing requirements on the medical research programs.
AAMC June 1 joined over 140 organizations on a letter expressing concern over the provisions. The letter urged Senate Armed Services Committeeleadership to support amendments during Senate floor consideration, and highlighted how “medical research programs at the DoD directly impact the health and lives of the U.S. military, including combat veterans and their families.” [see Washington Highlights, June 3].