ASM Commends Proposal to Increase Funds for Medical Research and Public Health Preparedness in 2020

Sept. 18, 2019

The House and Senate must move swiftly to conference and provide greater funding for CDC programs
 
September 18, 2019

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) commends Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-HHS-Education) and Related Agencies Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) for proposing $42.1 billion (a $3 billion increase) for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal year (FY) 2020. Federally-funded research has proven health, economic, and global security benefits for the United States, and the NIH funds microbial research that is basic, translational and clinical in nature. As the process moves forward, we hope that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be funded at the House established levels. While ASM supports the increase to fund the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, CDC's work has a critical role to play in putting science into action at state, local, and global levels when disease outbreaks occur. ASM also commends the bill's strong support and other preparedness programs. 

We thank Congress for passing a bipartisan budget agreement that lifted the restrictive caps on discretionary spending. With the end of the fiscal year rapidly approaching, we urge House and Senate leaders to move swiftly to reconcile the differences between their respective proposals so that FY 2020 funding for these agencies can be finalized as soon as possible. Congress must avoid long-term continuing resolutions (CRs), because doing so creates uncertainty that is disruptive to the long-term endeavor of biomedical research adn imposes unnecessary delays on new therapies for the patients who need them. When agencies are on "autopilot during a CR, promising new initiatives are delayed, researchers are unable to recruit early career scientists to their labs, and the future of grants is put in limbo.

ASM and its 30,000 members look forward to workign with Chairman Blunt, Sen. Murray, Chairwoman DeLauro and Rep. Cole, and members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to enact increasses for the NIH, the CDC, and global health programs in FY 2020 that build upon the work Congress has done for the past 4 years. Robust, sustained, and predictable increases for these and other priority programs advance the microbial sciences, save lives from infectious diseases, and ensure our global health security.

 
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The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of 30,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences. ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.