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Harkin Introduces Bill to Raise Budget Cap for NIH

July 25, 2014— Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) July 24 introduced legislation to allow for an increase in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, offset by adjusting the discretionary budget caps mandated by the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112–25).

The Accelerating Biomedical Research Act (S. 2658) includes a trigger of $29.9 billion for NIH, after which appropriators can provide up to $46.2 billion at the end of the seven year period from FY 2015-2021. The additional funding allows an initial increase of 10 percent in each of the first two years, followed by 5 percent increases each year thereafter.

In a floor statement, Senator Harkin said, “This bill will put a plan in place for the Appropriations Committee to reverse the 10-year retrenchment in biomedical research funding over the remaining years of the Budget Control Act.”

He added, “It is time for us on a bipartisan basis to reverse this erosion of support for biomedical research to ensure America’s standing as a world leader in this field.”

The AAMC has endorsed this legislation. In a statement, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., commended Sen. Harkin and said, “This bill will allow the Appropriations Committees not only to restore the purchasing power the NIH has lost to inflation over the past decade, but also to provide the sustained, long-term predictable funding growth essential to catalyze scientific momentum and address current and emerging health challenges. This bill is an important first step to restoring broader federal support for research.”


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806