A Weekly Advocacy Message from Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, the House Budget Committee approved (on a party-line vote, 19-17) legislation that would raise the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending cap by $631 billion, a 5.7 percent increase over the 2019 cap, and raise the defense cap by $664 billion, a 2.6 percent increase. The House is expected to consider the legislation on the floor early next week. The fact that legislation to raise the caps is being considered signals important progress. Our science-focused Raise the Caps campaign and other individual and collaborative advocacy efforts like that of NDD United are pushing hard for action, because -- as Senate Appropriations Chair,...
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: A Senate HELP Committee hearing this week examined what is driving preventable disease outbreaks. A key issue of discussion – as observed in our 2018 survey data – is growing public suspicion about the benefit of vaccines. The hearing also focused on the need for a robust public health infrastructure that can prevent public health threats. In a New York Times op-ed published yesterday, Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary of HHS, Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of CDC, and Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General, noted that vaccines have proven so successful that many clinicians and parents may not realize the seriousness of diseases – such as measles –...
Dear Research Advocate: On the FY18 appropriations front, it appears that two issues – Planned Parenthood funding and legislative language designed to stifle fetal tissue research (we have been working with others for several months to prevent this language from advancing) – are delaying final action on FY18 appropriations. Another short-term CR is predicted by some, a government shutdown by others, and there remains the possibility of flat funding through the end of September. The need for advocacy is crystal clear. Please take two minutes and use this email to urge prompt passage of a “clean” FY18 appropriations package. Also critical, tied up in the slow-walk of appropriations, is a...
Dear Research Advocate: This just in: advocacy works. The four provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that posed a threat to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) have been removed from the conference report. We owe a special thank you to our congressional champions Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representatives Ryan Costello (R-PA), Peter King (R-NY), Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA). Next, let’s make advocacy work for federal funding. Congress has only 14 legislative days to act before the current continuing resolution (CR) expires on December 8. From what we are hearing, the chances of an FY18 budget deal...

Sidebar Quote

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