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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2005
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

VISION RESEARCHERS FIRST TO THANK SENATE FOR PASSING FY2006 LHHS APPROPRIATIONS BILL THAT INCLUDES$29.4 BILLION FOR NIH/$694 MILLION FOR THE NEI

(Washington, D.C.) During a Congressional Lobby Day today, members of the Board of Trustees of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) were the first to thank Senate offices for the 94 - 3 affirmative vote the previous evening by the Senate of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill (HR 3010). The Senate bill contains $29.4 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $694 million for the National Eye Institute (NEI), which is $1 billion more for the NIH and $20 million more for the NEI than in the House version of the bill, passed in June. The Senate and House will address these differences through the conference process.

In more than 60 Capitol Hill visits, these vision researchers not only expressed appreciation to Senate offices, but also urged their House Members to support the highest possible funding level for the NIH and NEI in the conference process. The ARVO member visits followed hundreds of letters sent through NAEVR’s Web site last week to Senators supporting passage of the funding bill.

In a corollary message, ARVO members also expressed the eye and vision community’s opposition to provisions in a current draft of NIH reauthorization legislation pending in the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would cluster the budgets of the NEI and other mission-specific Institutes and eliminate Congressional review of individual Institute line item budgets. In total, 35 House and Senate offices directly engaged in appropriations, NIH reauthorization (House Energy and Commerce, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions), defense appropriations and aging were visited.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 50 professional, consumer and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit NAEVR’s Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.

Established in 1928, ARVO is a membership organization of more than 11,300 eye and vision researchers from over 70 countries. The Association encourages and assists its members and others in research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. Visit ARVO’s Web site at www.arvo.org.

John Ford, office of Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), with Dr. Gary Abrams (Wayne State University)

 

Lynn Dondis, office of Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), with Dr. Todd Margolis (University of California San Francisco)

 

Dr. Winkler (Eye Research Institute of Oakland University) with Lisa Layman, office of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)