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Ad Hoc Group Statement on Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research issued the following statement in response to House and Senate passage of the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018,” which continues funding for the federal government through March 23, 2018, and increases the limits on defense and non-defense discretionary spending in fiscal years (FYs) 2018 and 2019:

The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research applauds Congress for providing relief from sequestration for discretionary spending in FY 2018 and FY 2019. The stringent budget caps imposed by the Budget Control Act and subsequent sequestration have served only to hamper investment in domestic programs that keep Americans safe and healthy.

We are especially grateful that the agreement recognizes the National Institutes of Health as a critical national priority and acknowledges the importance of reliable funding growth for NIH. Thanks to Congress – and, in particular, the unflinching leadership of Senate and House LaborHHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Roy Blunt and Tom Cole, and Ranking Members Patty Murray and Rosa DeLauro – in recent years, NIH funding has been able to regain ground, reenergize aspiring scientists seeking careers in medical research, and provide hope to patients seeking a healthier tomorrow. The discretionary spending relief provided in the Bipartisan Budget Act will enable appropriators to continue this momentum of sustainable, predictable growth that is essential to expanding NIH’s capacity to support medical research.

As Congress turns to the forthcoming FY 2018 omnibus, we look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure an appropriation of at least $36.1 billion for the NIH, in addition to dedicated funding through the 21st Century Cures Act and other funding devoted to specific priorities. Ensuring meaningful, robust growth within the base NIH budget will position the agency – and the patients who rely on it – to capitalize on the full spectrum of research from basic to translational, and across the breadth of discovery in the biomedical, behavioral, social, and population-based sciences.

Once again, we thank lawmakers for taking the first step in making such a vision possible.


***** The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research is a coalition of over 300 patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry. The Ad Hoc Group has one mission: to enhance the federal investment in biomedical, behavioral, social, and populationbased research by increasing the funding for the National Institutes of Health.

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