Statement by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley on Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Committee Markup of FY17 Bill
We are thrilled the National Institutes of Health (NIH) received a robust funding increase in the Senate Labor-HHS appropriations bill. A second year of significant funding after a decade of relatively flat budgets will help to expand the innovative research supported by NIH. We are especially thankful for Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA) and many other members of Congress for their leadership in assigning a high priority to research. Strong, sustained budgets for the federal health agencies are critical to advancing medical progress to overcome health threats like Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes and cancer. The well-being of our citizenry depends on a fully supported research ecosystem and we are disappointed that much needed resources for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) were reduced. The CDC, which is on the frontlines of the Zika epidemic, requires additional resources to address such health threats, and AHRQ cannot improve the health of our most vulnerable citizens with shoestring budgets. As a nation, we cannot sustain our competitive edge in research with uneven support to agencies that protect the health of Americans and spur economic growth. While we are grateful for the NIH funding increase, we urge appropriators to restore funding for the CDC and AHRQ to at least FY16 levels.