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Research!America Responds to Problematic Funding Bill

Research!America released the following statement today from President and CEO Mary Woolley following the subcommittee mark-up of the House Appropriations Committee’s FY25 Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill. The legislation proposes structural changes to the NIH, significant cuts to the CDC and ARPA-H, and eliminating funding for AHRQ.

“Unfortunately, the House appropriations process began with inadequate topline funding levels, and that funding gap is reflected in a mismatch between the Labor-HHS bill marked up today and the strategic funding strategy our nation needs. We know that achieving even flat funding for NIH was difficult under tight budget constraints and appreciate the Committee’s decision to avoid cuts to overall NIH funding. It is important to recognize, though, that ‘avoiding cuts’ is a low bar for a nation leading the life-and-death offensive against deadly and debilitating health threats.

“From bird flu to the opioid crisis to youth mental health to sepsis to cancer to Alzheimer’s disease, American vitality hangs in the balance. These and other lethal threats are also at the heart of our deep concerns about cuts to ARPA-H and CDC, and the de-funding of AHRQ. We must decide as a nation whether we are committed or not to aggressively overcoming health threats. If we tread water, the threats will proliferate, our ability to defeat them will falter, and other nations will surely assume the lead in science and innovation. We believe it is entirely in the nation’s health, security, and economic interests – and consistent with longstanding bipartisan support for rapid medical and public health progress – for the U.S. to escalate, not flatline or worse, its investment in NIH and our nations’ other science, technology, and public health agencies.

“The Labor-HHS bill adopts structural and other changes at the NIH that Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) has proposed as a starting point for an interactive effort with stakeholders to assess potential reforms to the agency. While we cannot support the use of the appropriations process to advance Chair McMorris Rodger’s preliminary NIH reform framework, Research!America looks forward to engaging with the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction to ensure NIH thrives as the world’s most prolific catalyst to life-saving, public-private sector research and innovation.”

Contact Glenn O’Neal, Senior Director of Communications, at 571-482-2737 or [email protected] with press inquiries.