73 AACI Center Directors Request Bipartisan NIH Budget, Raising Budget Caps
On November 2, 73 AACI cancer center directors sent a letter to House and Senate leaders requesting that they come to a bipartisan budget agreement that lifts the caps imposed by the Budget Control Act to allow for stable, predictable increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The Continuing Resolution (CR) keeping the government funded at Fiscal Year 2017 levels will expire on December 8. The House Fiscal Year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services and Related Agencies appropriations bill provides $35.2 billion for NIH, or $1.1 billion more than Fiscal Year 2017, including funding from the 21st Century Cures Act. The Senate Subcommittee recommended $36.1 billion, or $2 billion more than Fiscal Year 2017, including funding from 21st Century Cures. The full House advanced the appropriations bill last month, and the Senate bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. A final Fiscal Year 2018 spending package is being negotiated.
The cancer center directors stressed that despite budget increases for the NIH and NCI in recent years, including funding from the 21st Century Cures Act, and strong support from both chambers in Congress, the institutions are requesting a bipartisan Fiscal Year 2018 spending bill, raising the budget caps. The center directors noted that investment in cancer research is necessary for academic institutions to continue to make progress against cancer that will ultimately improve patient outcomes.