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Nimhd Research Endowment Revitalization Act of 2020

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 17, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 4499) to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide that the authority of the Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to make certain research endowments applies with respect to both current and former centers of excellence, and for other purposes, as amended.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 4499

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act of 2020''. SEC. 2. RESEARCH ENDOWMENTS AT BOTH CURRENT AND FORMER CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE.

Paragraph (1) of section 464z-3(h) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 285t(h)) is amended to read as follows:

``(1) In general.--The Director of the Institute may carry out a program to facilitate minority health disparities research and other health disparities research by providing for research endowments--

``(A) at current or former centers of excellence under section 736; and

``(B) at current or former centers of excellence under section 464z-4.''.

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Mr. PALLONE. 4499.

I rise today in support of H.R. 4499, the NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act of 2020.

This bill authorizes the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, or NIMHD, to facilitate research on minority health disparities through research endowments at current or former Centers of Excellence.

The NIMHD Research Endowment Program was established by the Minority Health and Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000. By supporting the endowments of certain academic institutions, the program promotes minority health and health disparities research capacity, increases the diversity of the scientific workforce, and enhances the recruitment and retention of underrepresented individuals in science.

Congress expanded the eligibility of the program to include institutions of higher education with an active NIMHD Center of Excellence, and this expansion inadvertently resulted in schools such as Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia State University, and Morgan State University being ineligible.

As our Nation continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an even more urgent need to support additional research into minority health and health disparities, and to bolster the recruitment and retention of underrepresented individuals in science.

Mr. Speaker, I commend the lead sponsors, Representatives Barragan, Carter, and the late John Lewis, and their staffs, for their work on this legislation. I also thank the Democratic and Republican members of our committee, as well as bipartisan committee staff, for working together to move this bill.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 4499, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I have no additional Members who would like to speak on the bill, and so I urge support for the legislation. I yield back the balance of my time.

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