Letter to John Boehner, Speaker of the House and Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader - Urging Restoration of NIH Funding in Lame Duck


By: Jim Moran, Jr., Mike Honda, Gwen Moore, John Lewis, Lacy Clay, Jr., Bill Pascrell, Jr., Denny Heck, Ted Deutch, Anna Eshoo, Joe Garcia, Steve Cohen, Kathy Castor, Luis Gutiérrez, John Yarmuth, Paul Tonko, Frank Pallone, Jr., Eleanor Norton, Kyrsten Sinema, Derek Kilmer, John Garamendi, Frederica Wilson, Corrine Brown, Betty McCollum, Julia Brownley, Ed Perlmutter, Carol Shea-Porter, Raul Grijalva, Mike Quigley, Barbara Lee, David Price, Adam Smith, Collin Peterson, Allyson Schwartz, John Delaney, Jared Huffman, Mark Pocan, Suzanne Bonamici, Mike Capuano, Louise Slaughter, Chellie Pingree, Lois Frankel, Bill Foster, Peter Welch, Sanford Bishop, Jr., Earl Blumenauer, André Carson, Alan Lowenthal, G. K. Butterfield, Jr., Matt Cartwright, Judy Chu, Jim McDermott, Elijah Cummings, Rick Nolan, Lloyd Doggett II, Annie Kuster, Mark Takano, Sandy Levin, Brian Higgins, Stephen Lynch, Sean Maloney, David Cicilline, Jackie Speier, Mike Thompson, Eliot Engel, Yvette Clarke, Cheri Bustos, Mike Michaud, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rick Larsen, Dina Titus, Hakeem Jeffries, Don Payne, Jr., Linda Sánchez, Joe Kennedy III, Chaka Fattah, Sr., Sheila Jackson Lee, Juan Vargas, Bobby Rush, Marc Veasey, Sam Farr, Adam Schiff, Patrick Murphy, Keith Ellison, Katherine Clark, Steve Israel, Tim Bishop, Doc Hastings, Niki Tsongas, Albio Sires, John Sarbanes, Tony Cárdenas, Ami Bera, Charlie Rangel, Joyce Beatty, John Conyers, Jr., Carolyn McCarthy, Filemon Vela, Jr., Bob Brady, Gerry Connolly, Eric Swalwell, Dave Loebsack, Doris Matsui, Chris Van Hollen, Jr., Dutch Ruppersberger, Dan Maffei, Jim Himes, Rubén Hinojosa, Sr., Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Ron Barber, Scott Peters, Jan Schakowsky, Jim McGovern, Suzan DelBene
Date: Nov. 10, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi:

As the House begins crafting appropriations legislation before the current continuing resolution expires on December 11, 2014, we write to express our deep concern with the current funding level provided for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In any continuing resolution or omnibus appropriations package for FY 2015, we urge you to work with your colleagues in the Senate to fully restore NIH funding to at least the agency's pre-sequester level, adjusted for inflation, in order to maintain America's role as a global leader in biomedical research and ground-breaking medical discoveries.

We are concerned that, over the last 10 years, the federal government's contributions toward basic research at NIH have consistently failed to keep pace with inflation. By failing to at least hold NIH funding constant with other rising costs, Congress has allowed the agency's purchasing power to diminish by more than 20 percent since 2003. Irresponsible budget cuts imposed on the agency during sequestration only further exacerbated this trend, reducing NIH's budget by an additional 5 percent in FY 2013. As the growth in other countries' investments in medical research continues to far outpace those made here in 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 diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer, and if we hope to accelerate the speed with which new cures, treatments and vaccines are developed -- goals that are supported by Congressional leaders of both parties -- then it's absolutely essential that we increase funding for medical research at NIH. Particularly given our constituents' renewed focus in recent months on developing vaccines and treatments for diseases like Ebola and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we feel strongly that now is the time to invest in our nation's long-term health and prosperity.

While we understand the difficult fiscal challenges you face, we urge you to prioritize the important role that NIH plays in biomedical research and economic growth by working to fully restore its funding to at least pre-sequester levels, adjusted for inflation. Thank you for your consideration.