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Action Request: NIH Funding

The AAMC has sent out a message to the Medical Education community, requesting that faculty, students, residents and researchers urge their members of congress to support increased funding the NIH.

Your action on this issue is extremely important. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved its subcommittee allocations for the FY 2010 spending bills. These allocations set the limit on the amount of funding each subcommittee has for the programs under its jurisdiction.

The Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which includes NIH, received an allocation of $160.7 billion. While this amount represents an increase of nearly $8.9 billion (5.8 percent) over the subcommittee's funding level in the FY 2009 omnibus (P.L. 111-8), it falls approximately $50 million short of the President's request. You will recall that the President's budget calls for $30.759 billion for the NIH through the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, a $442 million (1.5 percent) increase over the FY 2009 appropriated level of $30.317 billion.This number excludes funding provided to NIH through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, P.L. 111-5).

The committee also announced the Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee tentatively is scheduled to mark up its bill July 8, followed by full Appropriations Committee action July 14, and House floor consideration July 22 through July 24. This means there is only three weeks to get messages of support for increasing NIH's budget to Congress before the House subcommittee considers its bill. Given the competing priorities within this bill and an allocation that barely matches the President's budget, it is critical that the medical research community deliver an emphatic message of support for increased NIH funding.

Further information about NIH funding and this initiative from the AAMC, including sample letters, can be found at http://www.researchmeanshope.org/.

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