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Statement By Research!America President And CEO Mary Woolley On FY20 Funding

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee released long-awaited legislation to fund the government through the remainder of FY20. The bipartisan package contains significant investments in medical and health research. We thank Congressional leaders, especially House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), House Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK ) along with Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senate Labor-H Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) for their tireless efforts to complete the FY20 funding process. 

Highlights include: 

  • A funding boost of $2.6 billion above last year’s level for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This increase is integral to faster medical progress, providing a spark that will ignite more lifesaving, job-producing research and development across our nation’s medical and health research ecosystem. 

  • Crucially important new resources for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the initial investment CDC needs to begin updating our nation’s 24/7 disease tracking system and improve the agency’s core capacities to meet emerging and intensifying population health threats.

  • A $91 million increase for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which, although it does not close the gap between resources and responsibilities, is a welcome sign Congress recognizes the need to align FDA’s budget with the breadth and significance of the agency’s contributions to public health and safety.

  • A $203 million increase for the National Science Foundation (NSF). While we again applaud Congress for the funding boost, NSF’s budget did not reach the level included in either the House or Senate appropriations bills.  To sustain and bolster U.S. economic security and our nation’s R&D leadership, this increase should be treated as the starting point for far greater investment in NSF going forward.

  • Reversal of the proposed Senate cut to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) budget, sustaining AHRQ’s current budget. Given the demonstrated return on investment the agency delivers, we believe our nation can and should assign a higher priority to AHRQ funding going forward.

  • The inclusion of funding for firearm injury and mortality prevention research which we fully support. Solutions to this complex issue have been elusive, and knowledge gaps needlessly complicate the path to viable answers. Research to fill these gaps is a commonsense strategy for advancing the public interest.

  • A ten-year reauthorization of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which supports impactful research informed by and responsive to the patient voice.

  • The full repeal of the medical device excise tax, which levels the playing field for investment in new, urgently needed diagnostics and other crucial medical technologies.

  • Additional funding for the research needed to gain ground on the opioid crisis.

These funding measures hold tremendous potential for advancing the interests of the American people, and we urge the House and Senate to swiftly pass and the President to sign these measures into law.