NSF

Dear Research Advocate, The current continuing resolution (CR) expires tomorrow. Congress has yet to reach agreement on FY16 appropriations, so they will buy more time to hammer out a funding package by passing another CR lasting til midnight Wednesday, December 16. The major sticking points at this moment are additional policy riders attached to the funding omnibus, spanning the spectrum from immigration and refugees to labor and environmental issues. As it looks right now, some research-related budgets stand to gain, while others face a less positive fate. There’s more on NIH in my interview with The Atlantic , and we continue to press for increases for CDC, FDA, AHRQ and NSF. Social,...
Over the course of his last few weeks before retiring, Speaker Boehner worked with fellow House and Senate leaders and the President to fashion a budget deal that increases the nation’s debt limit and provides an additional $80 billion above sequestration-level spending caps. Both non-defense and defense programs will receive $25 billion more in fiscal year 2016 (FY16) and $15 billion more in FY 2017. The House has passed this budget plan, and the Senate is expected to follow suit by Tuesday. See our statement . Passing this deal is step one. Step two is allocating top-line budget numbers across the 12 appropriations subcommittees (these allocations are known as “302(b)s”). This will likely...
Dear Research Advocate: Pope Francis’ visit to Washington has been a breath of fresh air, but now Congress must get to work and reach a funding agreement that avoids a government shutdown beginning October 1st. Didn’t we learn from the last shutdown, just two years ago? Young patients were turned away from clinical trials at NIH. Disease outbreaks were not monitored because CDC epidemiologists were furloughed. Drugs, devices and other medical products pending FDA approval were delayed. All of this -- and much, much more -- was then and is now, entirely avoidable. Advocates should not be complacent; a government shutdown screams “broken government,” and should not even be on the table...
Dear Research Advocate, Although we are 452 days away from Election Day 2016, with all the media attention right now one would be forgiven for thinking it is coming up next month! The overwhelming majority of scientists surveyed by the Science Advisory Board in advance of last Thursday’s debate said that science and research should be a topic of discussion. But as predicted by the same 90+ percent majority, science wasn’t even mentioned, underscoring the importance for scientists, patients, and all who care about research to engage candidates before the next debate. If you -- a potential voter -- don’t let candidates know you care about medical progress and science writ large, they will...
This op-ed appeared online on Roll Call July 31, 2015. New technology such as CRISPR-Cas9, a genuine scientific breakthrough, is raising hope for patients with cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia and other major health threats. The gene editing tool, used in precision medicine, allows changes to be introduced into the DNA of any living cell— potentially enabling repair of disease causing mutations, neutralization of disease carrying insects, and much more. This technology, developed with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), is an example of the realization of the promise of innovative research funded by our federal science...
I am sending my letter early this Thursday to give readers who support the NIH and FDA funding in the 21st Century Cures Act -- most of you, based on the emails and calls I’ve been receiving -- a little more time to take action. The House is slated to vote on the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6) tomorrow. As part of the process they will first vote on amendments, including one offered by Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA-07) to eliminate the $8.75 billion in mandatory funding for NIH and $550 million for FDA. I can’t stress the importance of stopping this amendment strongly enough: opportunities like this to fund significantly more research do not present themselves often.This is $8.75 billion for...
Dear Research Advocate: There is a flurry of activity in Washington. Not only has the Supreme Court ruled on King v. Burwell , but the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have wrapped up consideration of their respective “Labor-H” appropriations bills, regular order we haven't seen for six years. The implications of the Supreme Court ruling are far-reaching, but one political effect could be a return to partisan gridlock in Congress. We can't let that get in the way of passage of 21st Century Cures Act. Please contact your representative in the House and ask them to champion 21st Century Cures. Whether or not they are among the 206 (!) bipartisan cosponsors to date, the more noise we...
Dear Research Advocate: After years of attending to other priorities and taking an “on cruise-control” approach to science, Congress has turned the corner with enthusiasm and determination! Clay Alspach and Tim Pataki from Energy and Commerce Chairman Upton’s staff joined Research!America members on Tuesday to discuss 21st Century Cures. They asked us to help assure a robust and bipartisan list of cosponsors for the bill. Please take a moment to ask your representative to sign-on, or thank him or her for cosponsoring. Please also consider joining one, two or all three of these sign-on letters: UMR , Ad Hoc , NHC . We have final figures for the joint online survey by The Science Advisory...
Dear Research Advocate: That so many well-informed patient advocates are working for House passage of the 21st Century Cures bill (H.R. 6) is an excellent indication of just how important this legislation is to all of us looking for answers to what (literally) ails us. This makes it all the more puzzling that there aren’t more supporters weighing in from the science community. It may be because many don’t know about the bill yet -- a preliminary report from a poll of scientists we have in the field right now shows that only one in 5 members of the science community say they have heard of the bill. If you are a researcher and a regular reader of this letter, I know you know about it! Will...
Today, Research!America urged the 114th Congress to take action on five science priorities in the first 100 days of the legislative session in order to elevate research and innovation on the nation’s agenda: Advance the 21st Century Cures Initiative. Spearheaded by Representatives Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.),the initiative is a promising step in the right direction, focusing on speeding medical progress from bench-to-bedside by integrating patient perspectives into the regulatory process, modernizing clinical trials, and reducing red tape, among other things. Repeal the medical device tax. A provision in the Affordable Care Act, efforts to repeal the medical device tax...

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