President Obama released an outline of his proposal for the 2011 fiscal year federal budget today.

It includes a $1 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health.  This amounts to a 3.2% increase.  

This is just the beginning of the budget process.  More to come...

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Hello Keith,

I attended the forum where Francis Collins, MD, PhD released the NIH Budget on February 1st. After outlining the process and priorities Director Collins stated this is a preliminary budget and Congress will make changes (Congress always has an impact on spending.), so it is imperative for concerned individuals and groups to express support to their members to ensure no cuts are made.

This is another reason for families to join PPMD in Washington in a few weeks. Part of PPMD's annual request has been to ask Member's to support increases to the NIH Budget. We don't ask for an increase for spending specific to DMD at the NIH as Congress leaves individual decisions on how the science is funded to the NIH. The philosophy has been a rising tide raises all ships. Consider that cuts in the NIH Budget may well lead to cuts in DMD research funding. It will take more than PPMD to convince Congress this is an appropriate use of federal dollars, yet we must be part of this larger group to help ensure cuts are not made.

Brian Denger
Thanks Brian.

I cannot agree more with your statements regarding having our voice heard on Capital Hill. The President's budget request is just that - a request. In my opinion, he didn't request enough for NIH. A billion dollar increase sounds like a lot. It's not. The President's budget is a staggering $3.8 trillion. That puts funding for NIH at less than 0.8% of the total budget. It's not a high enough priority for the country.

Congress can appropriate a different amount to HHS and NIH than Obama requests. They did last year. I like to think it was due to influence from advocacy groups like ours. Congress DOUBLED the President's request last year for NIH. That only happens because they think it's important to constituents.

I think input into the process will be more important than ever this year. The President indicated in the State of the Union address that he would not sign a budget with an increase in total discretionary spending. NIH is part of "discretionary spending". To get any kind of increase proposed for NIH, under an expectation of zero increase in total discretionary spending, is great. Make no mistake, though, discretionary budget dollars are going to be hard to come by - and every special interest will be after them. There will also be significant political pressure to reduce the budget - and among the first places they'll look are the areas that saw increases in the President's proposal - like NIH.

In summary - the billion dollar NIH increase the President proposed - which is not enough - is not even close to a sure thing.

Our elected officials need to know that these issues are important to their constituents. Important enough that people take time from their jobs and families, and travel to DC on their own dime to talk about it. Important enough that they called or wrote a letter. I agree with you - expressing our support is the only way we're going to achieve our agenda in DC. It won't happen on its own....

Good news out of Congress the other night on the FY11 budget.


A GOP proposal was on the table to cut about $1.5 billion from the NIH budget for FY11.  


An amendment was introduced by Rep Alcee Hastings (D-FL) to eliminate reductions in funding for CDC, NIH and HRSA.  It passed by a voice vote.  The whole bill passed the House early this morning.  In my mind, it's doubtful that the Senate will pass any reductions to NIH - so, the final compromise bill is likely safe from any cuts.  


Thank you, Rep Hastings !!








So, this FY2011 budget is nearly resolved now, and details on how it impacts our cause are now emerging.


We're looking at over 1 BILLION dollars in cuts to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.


This represents a relatively small percentage of the total funding.  Of course, that doesn't mean much if the billion dollars cut would have found a treatment, does it?  Just for reference, the bill includes $5 BILLION in ADDITIONAL funding for defense.  


These numbers are all compared to FY2010 funding levels. 



From news reports...


Details released today indicate that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive $30.7 billion, or $260 million below the 2010 level. The 0.8% cut includes $210 million spread across all 27 NIH institutes and centers and the director's office, and $50 million from a buildings account. (Adding a 0.2% across-the-board cut in all non-defense agencies, the total cut will be about $300 million, says David Moore of the Association of American Medical Colleges.)


Under the CR agreement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will receive $5.66 billion, which is a cut of $730 million from the FY 2010 funding level



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