WASHINGTON – The Science Coalition (TSC) issued the following statement related to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies’ plan to markup the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations proposal for the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
“NIH is an essential partner for America’s research universities, supporting work around the country to improve human health and well-being, advance cutting-edge medical technologies, and cure diseases. We are pleased to see $41 billion in funding proposed for the nation’s premier biomedical research agency this year, up $2 billion over FY19 levels. The Science Coalition strongly supports the maximum possible funding increase for NIH next year.
“Last year, Congress provided on-time appropriations for NIH, which enabled the agency to strategically plan for future projects and avoid unnecessary research delays. Robust, predictable, and timely funding for biomedical research remains essential and especially important, given the estimated $3.5 billion in looming sequestration cuts to NIH if a deal to raise discretionary budget caps is not reached by October 1. These cuts would threaten the agency’s research capabilities and stifle priority biomedical initiatives.
“A budget agreement between Congress and the White House to raise the caps is necessary to ensure NIH and other federal research agencies – as well as their university partners – can keep advancing America’s leadership in medical research and technology.”
A nine percent post-sequester cut for non-defense discretionary spending and an 11 percent cut for defense basic research spending (not adjusting for inflation) would account for the following cuts to other federal research agencies, totaling more than $5.1 billion:
- National Science Foundation: $726 million
- Department of Energy, Office of Science: $593 million
- Department of Defense, Basic Research: $278 million
- National Institute of Standards and Technology: $88 million
A recent nationwide poll conducted by The Science Coalition found the American public overwhelmingly supports federal investment in fundamental research, and a majority of voters believe scientific investment should increase.
About the Science Coalition
Established in 1994, The Science Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities. It is dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s investment in basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation, and drive America’s global competitiveness.