The Lupus Research Institute joined with 243 of the nation's leading science, research, industry and patient advocacy organizations on September 16 to urge Congressional leaders in the House and the Senate to provide urgently needed appropriations to the National Institutes of Health.
In letters to key individual Congressional leaders, the coalition asked that $30.3 billion in regular appropriations be provided to the NIH in the Continuing Resolution legislation for fiscal Year 2009 expected to be passed by Congress before the end of the September legislative session.
The letter also seeks the inclusion of an additional $500 million for NIH as proposed in the Senate Appropriations Committee's Second Supplemental Appropriations Bill, which was drafted this summer.
In the letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the LRI and others note that FY 2008 is the fifth consecutive year that the NIH budget has failed to keep pace with biomedical research inflation.
The implications are enormous.
“The research supported and conducted by NIH has had a profound and far-reaching impact on our nation in many important ways,” the letter says, “serving as a catalyst for new products and technologies, creating skilled jobs, contributing to the nation’s economic growth, and most importantly, safeguarding and improving the lives of all our citizens. The discoveries resulting from the investment in NIH research are driving the transformation of the practice of medicine through the development of new and personalized therapies, cures, and prevention strategies.”
A letter was also sent to:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
House Minority Leader John Boehner
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey
House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Jerry Lewis
House Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member James Walsh
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert Byrd
Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran
Senate Labor, Health, Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin, and
Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member, Arlen Specter.