ASPET Legislative Update Regarding NIH FY14 Budget

Posted: August 1, 2013 in advocacy, Events, Funding, Policy

The Association for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) just released a new policy update regarding the NIH FY14 budget negotiations (or lack thereof) in Congress.

Basically, the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed an almost 6% increase for NIH FY14 while the House Appropriations HHS Subcommittee (which funds NIH) recommended a potential 19% decrease for NIH FY14 (the full House Appropriations Committee has yet to consider this bill).

This huge disparity between the two budgets is not specific to NIH funding, but instead is a more widespread disparity across appropriations bills that stems from the fact that the Senate assumes sequestration is repealed while the House assumes it remains in place for FY14. As a result, most are now assuming that Congress will not be able to pass a budget by October 1st (when the new fiscal year starts), making a continuing resolution the main path forward. As ASEPT notes, “However, various media reports indicate that the White House may consider a budget strategy that would lead to a government shutdown in the (likely) event Republicans insist on deeper spending cuts to domestic discretionary programs. The White House may feel the only way to prevent another round of deep budget cuts would be to force a shutdown, wounding Republicans politically.”

The Congressional summer recess runs from August 5th to September 9th. During this time, Members will return to their home offices. Therefore, August is the month in which to schedule in-person visits with your elected officials while they are at their home offices, giving you the opportunity to voice your concerns regarding NIH funding for FY14 and beyond.

As part of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)’s 100 meeting challenge, their public affairs staff will “set up the meeting, provide you with background information and talking points, train you to communicate your science to a nonscientific audience, and even go with you to the meeting if that’s what you’d like.” Go here for more information regarding the 100 meeting challenge and to sign up!

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