February 6, 2024
On February 6. 2024, UMR wrote to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray and Ranking Member Susan Collins, urging that they avoid a year-long continuing resolution (CR) for the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations bill.
The letter states:
Dear Leaders Schumer and McConnell, Chair Murray and Ranking Member Collins:
On behalf of United for Medical Research (UMR), a coalition of America’s leading research institutions, private industry, and patient advocates, we urge you to avoid a year-long continuing resolution (CR) that would damage the nation’s ability to innovate and tackle our most debilitating diseases.
A bipartisan, bicameral agreement on FY 2024 Labor-HHS Appropriations that funds the National Institute of Health at no less than $47.7 billion is critical to the health of every community across the United States and critical to keep research moving forward on Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and many rare diseases as well. While this funding level, which was passed overwhelmingly by the Senate Appropriations Committee, does not keep pace with medical inflation, it would avoid devastating cuts and uncertainty brought on by a year-long CR.
For more than seven years, bipartisan leadership in Congress has made biomedical research a national priority. It has passed strong, sustainable, and responsible NIH budgets that not only invested in the health of its citizens but maintained the agency’s competitive edge as the global leader in medical research. Every state contributes to NIH’s basic research mission, a mission that helps protect our nation and gives patients and families hope for future breakthroughs.
Funding NIH in FY 2024 by a continuing resolution would curtail new research and deny opportunities for our brightest young minds to enter the biomedical research field. It would also stall the great momentum of discovery from the last several years and bring instability to one of our country’s core responsibilities — investing in the health of its citizens. The consequences of this outcome would last for years.
Your leadership is urgently needed to move past destabilizing CRs and to help fund NIH and its mission at a strong and sustainable level. Thank you, and UMR stands ready to help you and your FY 2024 Appropriations efforts in any way.