appropriations

Dear Research Advocate, Later today, I will participate on a panel at Aspen Ideas: Health to explore the implications of an ambitious new survey commissioned by the Wellcome Trust. The report , which was released yesterday in Washington, explores public attitudes on trust in science, gathered in a survey conducted in 140 countries. Overall, trust in science is linked strongly to education and income and also tracks with trust in governments and the military. The survey takes a deep dive on attitudes toward vaccines, with findings that appear to closely track our U.S. findings from last year. The findings in the report will help us better understand how individuals, both in the U.S. and...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday was the first day of spring and with it comes the hustle and bustle of appropriations season. Rumor has it House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) plans to begin marking up fiscal year (FY) 2020 legislation as soon as late April with a Defense/Labor-HHS mini package among the first bills. It is therefore urgent we make the case now, with one voice, for strong FY20 research funding. Deadlines are close: Members of Congress must submit their individual requests to the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-H) Subcommittee by March 28, the Agriculture, FDA Subcommittee by April 4, and to the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS)...
Dear Research Advocate: The government is now in its sixth day of a partial shutdown that has left agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) without the necessary resources to conduct their critical, multi-faceted work. Negotiations between the Congress and the White House reportedly remain at a stalemate. Last year, when the House and Senate voted to end a weeklong shutdown, Senate Majority Leader McConnell said he hoped everyone could remember that "brinksmanship and hostage-taking do not work. They make bipartisan progress harder – not easier – to achieve." Let’s face it: no one is heeding that lesson now. The path that will truly...
Dear Research Advocate: News broke this week that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is struggling with a still-rising death toll due to Ebola, claiming more than 139 lives since July and spreading beyond the DRC. Meanwhile in the U.S., public health experts are working day and night to understand and overcome acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), now affecting children in 22 or more states. Ebola and AFM are public health crises today. It is predictable that there will be more unexpected crises on top of ongoing threats like the opioid epidemic, the increasing prevalence of obesity, chronic diseases and more. Which is why it defies common sense that investment in global health and in our...
Dear Research Advocate, Almost 30 years ago to the day, April 2, 1988, President Ronald Reagan delivered a radio address to the nation on the federal government’s role in scientific research. “We cannot know where scientific research will lead. The consequences and spin-offs are unknown and unknowable until they happen. But one thing is certain: If we don't explore, others will, and we'll fall behind.” The fact that the FY18 omnibus cites concerns that “China and 34 other competitors are outpacing the United States in terms of research spending,” demonstrates that President Reagan’s words ring true today. Our job now, to paraphrase former Congressman and Research!America Board Member Bart...
Dear Research Advocate, Last night, nearly 500 people joined us for Research!America’s 22nd Annual Advocacy Awards Dinner. We had the honor of presenting Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) with the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy , welcomed surprise guest, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and had the privilege of honoring other truly inspirational leaders and leading organizations in science and advocacy. If you were not able to be with us, I encourage you to check out our dinner recap . You can also see photos and comments about the Advocacy Awards Dinner from attendees on Twitter by searching #RAawards18. For all of us at Research!America, it was...
Dear Research Advocate, With so much going on in -- and about -- Washington, D.C., it’s easy to overlook the matter of still-unresolved FY17 appropriations. There are members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers calling for completion of those bills, and we agree. That’s what our elected representatives should be doing instead of kicking the can down the road with yet another extension of the continuing resolution (CR). Yes, it’s true that if Congress takes up work to complete FY17 spending bills, members will be tasked with developing FY17 and FY18 bills at the same time. Some think this will be difficult for the Senate, with its schedule packed with confirmation...
Dear Research Advocate, Thanks for your indulgence; I’m afraid we’ve been flooding your inbox over the past few days. Most recently, we sent an email moving up the deadline for signing on to a letter to congressional leaders urging them to refrain from passing another Continuing Resolution (CR), and to instead complete their work on FY17 appropriations. We sent that letter out tonight, proximal to today’s announcement by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) that he will in fact pursue a CR that would flat-fund government until March of next year (further delaying, and potentially squandering, any increase in funding for NIH and other health agencies in FY17). While his...
Dear Research Advocate: Monday’s presidential debate had a promising start when, during her opening remarks, Secretary Clinton listed “innovation and technology” as an investment priority, but neither candidate touched on the need for faster medical progress or a rock solid public health system. Read more on the debate on our Campaign for Cures blog . If you feel so inclined, tweet Mr. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) and Secretary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) and ask them to make use of the next debate to tell Americans what they will do to fight health threats - ongoing like cancer and emerging like Zika - that rob Americans of time, independence and hope. Do the same for vice presidential...
Dear Research Advocate: I am sending my letter out early this week to ensure you can tune into our National Health Research Forum, Straight Talk: New Thinking on Tough Challenges , which will take place tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. ET at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Our expert moderators will press panelists -- top federal officials and other key leaders from across the research ecosystem -- on critical, complex and in some cases, controversial topics in health, research and innovation. It is sure to be a riveting discussion not to be missed. While the Forum is sold out, you can watch virtually with our event live-stream hosted by WebMD. With Congress returning from recess and the end of fiscal...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco