ROCKVILLE, Md.—Although the pandemic is driving most of the Congressional agenda, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) and the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) are continuing to lobby legislators for supplemental funding for science-related federal agencies that support their work. The Alliances, along with others in the research community, are emphasizing to Congressional leaders the need for supplemental funding now for science-related agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its National Eye Institute (NEI), the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to support grantee ramp-down/ramp-up and lab maintenance activities.
They are requesting that Congress exempt key research and health programs from the FY2021 spending caps agreed to in 2019 should regular order appropriations occur. NAEVR has joined as a signatory on these important letters.
During the past month, NAEVR and AEVR have continued to advocate and educate about vision research, as appropriate. On March 20, NAEVR submitted written testimony to the hearing file of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee about the need for increased, robust NIH and National Eye Institute (NEI) funding increases, which had been requested during Congressional office visits in both a February 7 ARVO Advocacy Day and a February 26 American Glaucoma Society Advocacy Day. Click on the following link to read NAEVR’s testimony: https://www.eyeresearch.org/news/naevr_submits_fy2021_testimony
The week of March 9, which was World Glaucoma Week 2020, AEVR authored a blogpost on Research!America’s Web site recognizing the importance of glaucoma research. That article linked to the latest edition of Research!America’s Vision and Blindness fact sheet, which was prepared with AEVR’s assistance. This edition of the fact sheet reflects the third update of this important resource since it was initially released in 2004. Click on the following link to access the blog post and fact sheet.
James F. Jorkasky, executive director of the Alliances, said that with social distancing and stay-at-home orders in effect, NAEVR/AEVR will continue to investigate Web-based opportunities to keep the membership apprised of the latest events and potential funding opportunities.