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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2009
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR PRAISES THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT BILL OF 2009 AS AN IMPORTANT STEP IN REBUILDING THE NIH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH ENTERPRISE

(Washington, D.C.) Today, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) released the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009. As part of this legislation to jumpstart the economy and save and create jobs, the bill includes funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that could total $3.9 billion dollars as follows:

  • $1.5 billion to the Office of the Director for NIH-funded research which would be prorated to the NIH common fund and Institutes and Centers as per proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 appropriations. Half of the $1.5 billion, or $750 million, would not be available until October 1, 2009.

  • $1.5 billion to renovate/repair non-federal research facilities.

  • $500 million for repair and improvement projects on the NIH campus.

  • $400 million that may be transferred from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to the office of the NIH Director to conduct or support comparative effectiveness research. The NIH Director may subsequently transfer these funds to the NIH common fund and Institutes/Centers.
"NAEVR especially recognizes the leadership of Chairman Obey in taking steps to rebuild the NIH biomedical research enterprise," said National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) Executive Director James Jorkasky, "We look forward to the House and Senate working productively to arrive at a level of appropriate stimulus funding that fully restores the NIH’s purchasing power."

In January 14 comments to President-Elect Obama, NAEVR urged that the economic stimulus serve as a down-payment on the doubling of science and technology investment over the next ten years. NAEVR proposed an economic stimulus and FY2009 appropriations package totaling $10 billion, as Research!America has estimated that at least $8.6 billion is necessary to restore the NIH’s purchasing power lost over the past six funding cycles.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit the Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.