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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2009
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org
AS PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT, NAEVR PRAISES CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS AND BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CHAMPIONS

(Washington, D.C.) Today, as President Obama signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1) in Denver, Colorado, NAEVR praised Congressional leaders and biomedical research champions that facilitated the inclusion of $10 billion of funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky issued the following statement:

“NAEVR was pleased to support the efforts of Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in the Senate, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey (D-WI) in the House, to include $10 billion in funding for the NIH. We thank them for their commitment to biomedical research and its power to create and sustain jobs through this economic stimulus bill. We also owe a great deal to Maine’s Republican Senators Nancy Collins and Olympia Snowe, who joined with Senator Specter in demonstrating independence and leadership in ensuring that this measure passed in the Senate.

The $10 billion in funding for the NIH will create 70,000 jobs in the near-term and will have an economic impact in every state, as NIH funding permeates the country supporting research at academic institutions nationwide. We understand that NIH is currently determining how to best administer this funding. Vision researchers supported by the National Eye Institute (NEI) within the NIH could not only receive substantial research funding, but also be eligible for funding from the NIH Common Fund (e.g., bridge funding, new investigator awards, etc.) and from the $1.3 billion provided to the NIH’s National Center for Research Services (NCRR) for extramural research facility renovation and shared instrumentation.

NAEVR is proud that the eye and vision research community was among the first to advocate for $10 billion in NIH funding within the stimulus, as set forth in NAEVR’s January 14, 2009, letter to then-President Elect Obama. NAEVR wishes to recognize the important role of Research!America in estimating that NIH lost $8.6 billion in purchasing power over the past six funding cycles, which formed the basis of NAEVR’s request.”

HR1 includes funding for NIH as follows:

  • $8.2 billion for scientific research to the NIH Office of the Director (OD), $7.4 billion of which shall be transferred to the NIH’s Institutes and Centers (ICs) and Common Fund and prorated per Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 appropriations. The $0.8 billion retained within the OD shall be used for purposes completed within two years, with priority placed on short-term grants that focus on specific health challenges, new research that expands the scope of ongoing projects, and research on public and international health priorities.

  • $1.3 billion to the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), $1 billion of which is for competitive awards for the construction and renovation of extramural research facilities, and $0.3 billion for the acquisition of shared instrumentation and other capital research equipment.

  • $0.5 billion for NIH intramural buildings and facilities.
In addition, $0.4 billion of the $1.1 billion provided to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shall be transferred to the NIH Director to support comparative effectiveness research. These funds may subsequently be transferred to the NIH ICs.

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.