Statement by Research!America President & CEO Mary Woolley on FY21 Appropriations and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act
Research!America is thankful to Senate and House leadership for reaching an agreement on FY21 appropriations as well as a package of stimulus funding. The stimulus is vital to the many individuals, businesses, and institutions trying mightily to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and includes funding for continued COVID-19 research and public health measures.
We truly appreciate the efforts of stalwart research and public health champions Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Tom Cole (R-OK) and Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA) for their efforts to increase FY21 funding for the life-saving research NIH conducts and supports. We recognize the challenge of achieving increased funding when faced with stifling budget caps.
In the FY21 appropriations package, we see funding increases for many of our nation’s health, medical, and scientific agencies, including increases of more than $1 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $200 million for the National Science Foundation, $125 million for the Centers for Disease Control, and $42 million for the Food & Drug Administration. We look forward to working with Congress to grow the budget for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality going forward in accordance with the crucial role it will play in ensuring our nation learns from and addresses the massive healthcare impacts of COVID-19 and its fundamental importance to health and health care.
Our nation’s public-private sector R&D ecosystem is an asset and world leader directly affecting the health, prosperity, and security of all Americans. Based on a national public opinion survey Research!America commissioned in August on behalf of a working group formed to assess America’s commitment to science, 89% of respondents across political parties believe that America should maintain its global leadership in science and 77% agree that the U.S. is at a critical point for committing to a major new effort to assure health, security, and prosperity for the nation.
The pandemic has clearly revealed the critical need to bolster our nation’s research and public health infrastructure. In FY22, it will be crucial to make up for lost ground in FY21, including funds to reboot and restart research stalled or halted because of the pandemic as well as to fund NIH, CDC, FDA, NSF, and AHRQ based on the significance of their respective roles in protecting and advancing the wellbeing of Americans. We look forward to working with our champions in Congress and other stakeholders to increase funding flexibility for CDC and robustly fund our nation’s health and scientific research institutions.