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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2009
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

AS WITH HOUSE VERSION, NAEVR PRAISES THE SENATE’s AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT PLAN AS AN IMPORTANT INITIAL STEP IN REBUILDING THE NIH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH ENTERPRISE

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, which is its version of the economic stimulus package (House version released January 15). The bill includes funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that could total $3.5 billion dollars as follows:

  • $2.7 billion for scientific research to the NIH Office of the Director (OD), which shall be available through September 30, 2010. Of this amount, $1.35 billion is to be transferred to the Institutes and Centers (ICs) and NIH common fund in proportion to that in the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 appropriations.

  • $300 million to the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) for shared instrumentation and other capital equipment.

  • $500 million for NIH intramural buildings and facilities.

  • $700 million to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for comparative effectiveness research, with $400 million to transferred to the NIH/OD, which may be subsequently transferred to the ICs and Common Fund.
"As with the House version of the bill, which funds NIH at $3.9 billion, NAEVR recognizes the Senate leadership 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.