A Weekly Advocacy Message from Mary Woolley: Calling All Advocacy Superstars

Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate,

The Research!America 2019 Advocacy Awards nominations are now open! Act now to nominate the stellar advocates you want to recognize for outstanding leadership in medical, public health and other scientific research. The awards will be presented at our dinner on March 13, 2019.

My recent letters have mentioned the possibility of the president sending a rescission package to Congress. At this point, it’s more a matter of when, not if he will request billions in “clawbacks” of already appropriated funds. It’s up to Congress to accept or reject the request. Think about it: for several fiscal years now, federal agencies have not had the benefit of fully functioning budgets; rather, for a large portion of each fiscal year, they have been tethered to the previous year’s budget by continuing resolutions (CR) that choke off their ability to spend dollars in a timely manner and respond to new opportunities and challenges (not to mention all the rebudgeting exercises and associated red tape). Now, via a rescission, these agencies may be subjected to the impoundment and potential loss of funding they still have on hand. That’s no way to speed medical progress or advance any other national objective. Use this editable email to urge the administration and Congress not to backtrack on the appropriations they have so painstakingly determined.

In better news, and thanks to your advocacy efforts, 57 Senators signed on to the letter Senators Casey (D-PA) and Burr (R-NC) circulated in support of robust funding for NIH in FY19. Today, the House Appropriations Committee held their annual LHHS Public Witness Hearing. Several Research!America alliance members were chosen to address the committee in person in support of faster medical and public health progress. Research!America submitted written testimony, as did Research!America board member Dr. Bill Hait on behalf of Johnson & Johnson. As you continue to advocate for FY19 appropriations, I hope our new appropriations resource webpage proves useful!

A quick note on a development at the Environmental Protection Agency that is relevant to us all: Administrator Pruitt has announced proposed changes to regulations surrounding data access requirements, stating that the goal is to foster transparency. While this is a shared and worthy objective, we are concerned this proposal would compromise privacy protections fundamental to research integrity, comprehensiveness and participation. The proposed changes are subject to a 30-day comment period. Comments can be sent via www.regulations.gov.

On May 15, join Research!America and partners for a research continuum lunch briefing on asthma in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2043, at noon ET. Asthma affects an astounding 25 million Americans. From Discovery to Delivery: the Role of Research in Addressing Asthma will explore the individual importance of, and crucial interactions between, multiple R&D disciplines -- both public and private-sector funded -- as scientists seek to prevent, treat and ultimately cure asthma. RSVP here.

Also mark your calendars for two alliance member programs in May. This coming Tuesday, May 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET, join us for a meeting with Senate HELP Committee staff (majority and minority) to talk about the Committee’s 2018 priorities. This Hill meeting is bound to fill up quickly. To RSVP, email Jacqueline at jlagoy@researchamerica.org.

Jacqueline is also the point of contact for an alliance member lunch meeting on Thursday, May 24 at 12:30 p.m. ET with Greg Daniel of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. We’ve asked Greg to discuss current thinking around a topic that bears importantly on the nature and pace of medical progress: value-based reimbursement. Let us know if you can be there in person or by phone!

Sincerely,
Mary Woolley

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Without research, there is no hope.
The Honorable Paul G. Rogers