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NAEVR Urges House and Senate to Fully Fund FY2007 LHHS Programs

Legislative Update
September 27, 2006

On September 26, NAEVR delivered letters to Senators and House Members urging that the full additional $7 billion for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) programs committed to in respective Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Budget Resolutions is contained in final appropriations.

NAEVR’s House letter urges moderate House Republicans to sign onto a "Dear Colleague" letter from Cong. Mike Castle (R-DE) to House leadership. NAEVR’s Senate letter urges Senators who voted for the amendment championed by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) to increase FY2007 LHHS funding to sign onto a Specter/Harkin "Dear Colleague" letter to Senate leadership.

The House version of the FY2007 LHHS appropriations bill, which has not yet been passed on the House floor, contains $4 billion of the additional $7 billion, but none of this went to increasing the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) above the President’s budget request, which would flat-fund NIH at the FY2006 level and cut individual Institute budgets (the National Eye Institute is slated for a 0.8 percent reduction in its budget, or $5.3 million). The Senate version of the FY2007 LHHS appropriations bill contains $5 billion of the additional $7 billion, with the NIH budget increased by $200 million and the NEI budget increased by $600,000 over FY2006.

Action on LHHS appropriations is not expected until after the election recess and possibly through an omnibus spending bill. On September 26, the House approved the FY2007 Defense appropriations bill conference report, which includes a Continuing Resolution to fund the government at FY2006 levels through November 17. Senate action is expected September 27.