Letter to the Hon. Harold Rogers - Prioritize Funding for National Institutes of Health


By: Pete King, Mike Doyle, Jr., Alan Lowenthal, David McKinley, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Sheila Jackson Lee, G. K. Butterfield, Jr., John Garamendi, Al Green, John Katko, Marcia Fudge, Seth Moulton, Denny Heck, Juan Vargas, Terri Sewell, Ben Lujan, Jr., Adrian Smith, Frederica Wilson, Ted Deutch, Dan Donovan, Jr., Michael Coffman, Judy Chu, Anna Eshoo, Jim McDermott, Brad Ashford, Steve Cohen, Elijah Cummings, Julia Brownley, Adam Schiff, Rick Nolan, Ed Perlmutter, Kathy Castor, Patrick Murphy, Richard Neal, Chris Gibson, Luis Gutiérrez, Keith Ellison, Annie Kuster, Raul Grijalva, Gerry Connolly, Katherine Clark, Mark Takano, Donald Norcross, Frank LoBiondo, Mike Quigley, Grace Meng, Eric Swalwell, Donald Young, Grace Napolitano, Mark DeSaulnier, Sandy Levin, Zoe Lofgren, Steve Chabot, John Larson, Michael McCaul, Bob Dold, Barbara Lee, Dave Loebsack, Beto O'Rourke, Brian Higgins, David Price, Doris Matsui, Sam Graves, Norma Torres, Stephen Lynch, Cedric Richmond, Rodney Davis, Emanuel Cleaver II, Niki Tsongas, Sean Maloney, Bill Keating, Albio Sires, David Cicilline, GT Thompson, Jr., John Sarbanes, Ron Kind, Jared Polis, Kathleen Rice, Jackie Speier, John Delaney, Peter DeFazio, Tony Cárdenas, Donna Edwards, Mike Thompson, Kurt Schrader, Jared Huffman, Chris Collins, Rubén Hinojosa, Sr., Jerry Nadler, Eddie Johnson, John Yarmuth, Bill Foster, Dan Lipinski, Hakeem Jeffries, Peter Welch, Brenda Lawrence, Alma Adams, Suzan DelBene, Maxine Waters, Ted Lieu, Don Payne, Jr., Mike Honda, Mike Fitzpatrick, Matt Salmon, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Sanford Bishop, Jr., Chris Smith, Gwen Moore, Earl Blumenauer, David Scott, Linda Sánchez, Jim Langevin, Elise Stefanik, Hank Johnson, Jr., Dana Rohrabacher, Tammy Duckworth, Carlos Curbelo, Eleanor Norton, Elizabeth Esty, Don Beyer, Jr., Raul Ruiz, Tulsi Gabbard, John Lewis, Joe Courtney, Joe Kennedy III, André Carson, Lacy Clay, Jr., Kyrsten Sinema, Ami Bera, Tim Walz, Andy Barr, Mark Pocan, Jim Cooper, Eliot Engel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Brendan Boyle, Joaquin Castro, Nydia Velázquez, Carolyn Maloney, Frank Guinta, Charlie Rangel, Yvette Clarke, Pat Meehan, Suzanne Bonamici, Gregory Meeks, Joyce Beatty, Debbie Dingell, Cheri Bustos, Bradley Byrne, Mike Capuano, John Conyers, Jr., Louise Slaughter, Scott Peters, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Chellie Pingree, Jan Schakowsky, Karen Bass, Rick Larsen, Lois Frankel, Jim McGovern, Bob Brady, Dina Titus, Chris Van Hollen, Jr.
Date: Nov. 10, 2016
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey:

As the House works to craft appropriations legislation before the current continuing resolution expires on December 9, 2016, we write to express our strong support for increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In any forthcoming appropriations legislation for FY 2017, we urge you to work with your Senate colleagues to ensure NIH receives a funding level of no less than $34 billion, equal to the level approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, in order to maintain America's role as a global leader in biomedical research and groundbreaking medical discoveries.

On a bipartisan basis, members of the 114th Congress have repeatedly demonstrated our clear and unambiguous support for strengthening investments in NIH. We know this funding helps us push the boundaries of scientific knowledge, advance promising research and offer hope to millions of Americans suffering from heartbreaking diseases. Federal funding for this life-saving research is also a key economic driver for our nation, supporting more than 400,000 jobs and generating over $60 billion in new economic activity. It delivers a significant return on our investment today and for generations to come.

While the increase included in last year's omnibus appropriations bill was an important step, we remain concerned that federal investments in biomedical research have failed to keep pace with inflation over the last 13 years. By failing to hold NIH funding constant with other rising costs, Congress has allowed the agency's purchasing power to diminish by nearly 20 percent since 2003. As other countries' investments in research continue to grow at a far faster pace than those made by the U.S., it is more critical than ever that we act to reverse this trend.

Insufficient funding for NIH has a serious, wide-ranging impact on our nation's health and our capacity for medical innovation in the 21st century. If we are serious about breaking new ground in our understanding of complex and life-threatening conditions, then it is absolutely essential we increase funding for NIH. Simply put, we cannot hope to accelerate the development of new cures, therapies and vaccines without additional resources for research. Particularly given the significant investments in NIH approved earlier this year by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, we feel strongly that now is the time to recommit to America's long-term health and prosperity.

While we understand the difficult fiscal challenges you face, we urge you to prioritize the important role NIH plays in medical innovation and economic growth by funding the agency at an annual level of no less than $34 billion. Thank you for your consideration of this request, which will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of Americans.