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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14 2009
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR THANKS CONGRESS FOR $18.5 MILLION INCREASE IN NEI FUNDING THAT, WITH $26.7 MILLION ARRA BALANCE, YIELDS $45 MILLION MORE FOR VISION RESEARCH IN FY2010

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) expressed its gratitude to Congress for increased Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Eye Institute (NEI). In the $446.8 billion omnibus spending bill passed by the House on December 10 and the Senate on December 13 and sent to the President for signing, NIH funding increases to $31 billion, a $691.8 million or 2.3 percent increase over FY2009, and NEI funding increases to $707.04 million, an $18.5 million or 2.7 percent increase.

NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky issued the following statement:

"Especially In this challenging fiscal environment, NAEVR expresses its appreciation to Congress for the nearly inflationary $18.5 million increase in FY2010 NEI appropriations. This increase comes on the heels of both an inflationary increase of $21.4 million in FY2009 "regular" appropriations and $175 million in NEI funding from the $10.4 billion NIH appropriation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Since NEI has programmed $26.7 million of its ARRA funding for FY2010, vision researchers will have available a total of $45 million more than FY2009 NEI baseline funding. Since NAEVR has estimated that vision researchers received $22 million of non-NEI FY2009 NIH funding—from the common fund (e.g., Bridge Awards), the Office of the Director (e.g., ARRA-related Challenge Grants), and other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs)-we are confident that the vision community will again compete successfully for additional non-NEI funding in FY2010, adding to that $45 million total.

Of course, we are concerned that the Administration and Congress support robust and sustained future NIH funding, especially in FY2011 as the economic stimulus funding expires. NAEVR will work with both the Administration and Congress to ensure to maintain the momentum of discovery. In passing resolutions earlier this year—H. Res. 366 and S. Res. 209—Congress not only recognized NEIís pivotal role during its 40th anniversary year, but designated 2010-2020 as the Decade of Vision to acknowledge the daunting public health challenge of vision loss."

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.