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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2006
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR COMMENDS MODERATE REPUBLICANS FOR ENSURING THAT THE HOUSE BUDGET RESOLTUION INCLUDES AN ADDITIONAL $7.16 BILLION FOR HEALTH/EDUCATION PROGRAMS

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) commended moderate House Republicans for their leadership in ensuring that the House Budget Resolution includes a commitment to increase funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) programs. The House Budget Resolution passed early this morning by a vote of 218-210 and included an amendment in the Rules for the Resolution that specifically recognized the need for a $7.16 billion increase for these programs over that in the Presidentís Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 budget proposal.

NAEVR especially commends Cong. Mike Castle (R-DE) who led these efforts. A statement issued by Cong. Castle today announced that the Republican leadership has assured moderates that there will be no less than $3.1 billion-above the $4.1 billion already shifted from defense appropriations to LHHS appropriations programs in 302(b) allocations set forth by the House Appropriations Committee-for health and education programs, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The House increase of $7.16 billion for LHHS programs matches that of the Senate Budget Resolution, passed on March 16, although the latter accomplished this by increasing domestic discretionary spending above the cap of $873 billion set forth in the Presidentís proposed budget. Ultimately, the House and Senate will need to conference these differences, potentially through the LHHS appropriations bills emerging from each chamber. The House is expected to take action on an LHHS appropriations bill prior to the July 4 recess and, if the full increase that has been committed remains, NIH funding would be restored to the FY2005 level, adding $1 billion over that in the FY2006 budget. The Presidentís FY2007 budget proposed to freeze NIH funding at the FY2006 level of $28.6 billion.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVRís goal is to achieve the best vision for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI) and other federal research entities. Visit NAEVRís Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.