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Speak Now for Research

Dear Research Advocate,

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has announced the second phase of its The Time is Now: Advancing Equity in Science and Technology initiative. Americans are asked to share ideas in response to White House Science Advisor Dr. Eric Lander’s question: “How can we guarantee all Americans can fully participate in, and contribute to, science and technology?” 

Per Dr. Lander: “…different experiences and perspectives are the bedrock of new scientific and technological insights, because having everybody on the team is essential to America’s global competitiveness in the 21st century, and because it’s the right thing to do.” We couldn’t agree more. Please take time to share your thoughts and suggestions by November 19. 

Funding Science-based Agencies: The Senate Appropriations Committee majority posted nine remaining FY22 draft appropriations bills, including the “Labor-H” bill (read our statement). Highlights included: 

  • NIH: $2.6 billion increase to the core budget, 6% over last year.

  • ARPA-H: $2.4 billion to stand up this new agency.

  • CDC: $1.86 billion increase to the core budget, 24% over last year, including $600 million to strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure.

  • AHRQ: $42 million increase to the core budget, more than 12% over last year.

Refer to our updated budget chart comparing FY21 funding levels with the President’s FY22 budget request and the House and Senate FY22 appropriations drafts. 

As mentioned last week, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution flat-funding the government through December 3. Waiting until December 3 to re-fuel progress simply doesn’t make sense. Our letter, signed by more than 200 organizations, urges Congressional leaders to act without delay to set new annual funding levels to better equip our nation to out-innovate deadly and debilitating health threats. Thank you to all the groups who signed on!

Authorizing ARPA-H: Appropriations (see mention above) and authorizing language for ARPA-H are proceeding in parallel. House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) has introduced legislation to authorize the creation of ARPA-H. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI) also plan to include ARPA-H language in their upcoming “Cures 2.0” legislation. (Watch last month’s Cures 2.0 discussion with Reps. DeGette and Upton.)

We will continue to participate in discussions on Capitol Hill, with the Administration, and across the health, medical, and scientific community on efforts to stand up this potentially game-changing entity; watch for updates.  

Speaking Out from A-to-Z: We are pleased to announce the release of “Then. Now. Imagine. An A-to-Z Look at Diseases, Conditions, and Disorders that Impact Our Lives.” Developed in partnership with the Lasker Foundation, the report emphasizes how investment in medical research and innovation has provided profound societal benefits, with the potential for so much more. Read the report (it’s a PDF), share it on social media, and speak to your members of Congress about the importance of robust investment in medical research.

Speaking for Research with Washington Post Live: Research!America Board Member Dario Gil, IBM’s SVP and Director of Research, was interviewed yesterday during a Washington Post Live event on “The Future of Science and Innovation” (Dario’s interview begins at the 24:35 mark). He discussed IBM’s Science Forward policy agenda and stressed the importance of federal research funding to advance S&T efforts in order to address global crises.

Speak for Science at These Upcoming Events:

  • WHAM Report Panel Discussion: Next week, Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM) launches a report on the economic benefits of women’s health research at a virtual Capitol Hill briefing. Research!America is well-represented! The event is moderated by our board chair, Susan Dentzer; panelists include board member Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, and Jenny Luray, Research!America VP of Strategy and Communications, as well as several members of Congress. The event takes place October 28, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ET; register to attend.

  • COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force: On October 28, 1–4 p.m. ET, the HHS COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force will meet to present and vote on the Task Force Final Report. The meeting will be livestreamed, and will include a public comment session; no registration is required for the event, but anyone who wishes to comment must notify HHS by October 22.

Alliance Meeting Recap: Grace Graham, Chief Counsel of the Health Subcommittee for House E&C Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined us today for an overview of the Congresswoman’s priorities, including FDA user fee reauthorizations, drug pricing, and health equity. The meeting was not recorded; contact us if you would like to know more or to join us for future alliance member-only meetings.

Upcoming Alliance Meetings: Join us on Wednesday, October 27, at 1 p.m. ET for two great speakers. We’ll hear from Joel White, Executive Director of the Health Innovation Alliance, for an update on the digital health and telemedicine arenas — key components of the COVID-19 response. Pete Kirkham, President of Red Maple Consulting, will provide a “state-of-play” update on Capitol Hill.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay connected.


Mary Woolley