Advocacy Update: NIH Research Funding

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by Christina Hamilton, Government Advocacy Chair, Board of Directors

Since our time on Capitol Hill in late June, there has been much happening around the 2018 congressional budget. Below is the latest regarding NIH funding and information about how you can continue to help ensure this important funding is sustained in the 2018 budget.

NIH Funding Increase

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved a Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) funding bill which contains increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While the LHHS bill contains an overall $5 billion cut below last year impact some labor, health and education programs, NIH was increased by $1.1 billion (or 3.2%) for a total of $35.2 billion. The bill also rejects the Trump Administration’s proposed facilities and administration (F&A or indirect costs) cap of 10 percent on NIH awards as well as includes a provision to block any Administration attempt to impose the cap unilaterally. You can read a summary of the bill here.

A thank you is always appreciated. Here are some ideas to thank your congressional members for increased NIH funding.

  • The NIH increase in the House LHHS Appropriations bill was led by LHHS Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK 4th) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 3rd), if either of those is your representative, please send a thank you for the NIH increase and for including language on LAM in the report that accompanies the LHHS bill. Check out the LAM report language on page 51 of this report.
  • If your representative is on the House Appropriations Committee, please send a thank you for investing in NIH. Check the list of the House Appropriations Committee Members here.
  • Need help finding your U.S. Representative, click here.

Also of note, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins was interviewed by the Washington Examiner newspaper about the negative impact of the Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts on the mission of NIH.

DOD Research Funding - TSCRP

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on an appropriations package containing four bills, one of which is the defense funding bill. Due in large part to the TSC Alliance and The LAM Foundation joint advocacy, $6 million for the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP) has been included under the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). TSCRP grant funds directed to LAM have enabled research such as helping to establish the LAM Clinic Network and providing necessary evidence allowing doctors with patients who have cystic changes on CT scans to order a serum VEGF-D test to make the diagnosis of LAM without biopsy. The Senate has just begun its work on fiscal year 2018 appropriations bills and has yet to considered the defense funding bill.

A thank you is always appreciated. Here are some ideas to thank your congressional members who supported the TSCRP.

  • The House of Representative’s request letter for the TSCRP funding was led by Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 27th) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA 2nd), if either of those is your representative, please send a thank you for leading the effort for this funding which is also important for LAM research.
  • If your U.S. Representative signed the FY2018 TSCRP Appropriations Request Letter, send a thank you for their support of this important funding. Check the list of signers here.
  • If your representative is on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, send a thank you for including this important funding in the bill. Check the list of the Defense Subcommittee Members here.
  • Need a better understanding of TSCRP, click here.

If you have any further questions about how you can help, please reach out to Anne McKenna at amckenna@thelamfoundation.org.

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