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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2016
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

AS CONGRESS PASSES SHORT-TERM CONTINUING RESOLUTION, NAEVR URGES IT TO RETURN AFTER THE ELECTION TO FINALIZE FY2017 APPROPRIATIONS WITH A $2 BILLION NIH INCREASE

(Washington, D.C.) On September 28, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) which funds the government at the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 level through December 9—with a roughly 0.5 percent across-the-board cut to comply with the FY2017 budget cap. It also provides $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus, $500 million to Louisiana and other states for disaster relief, and finalizes spending in the FY2017 MilCon-VA funding bill.

National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) Executive Director James Jorkasky issued the following statement upon passage of the CR:

“NAEVR is pleased that Congress avoided the potentially disastrous impact of a government shutdown by passing this short-term CR, as the Alliance had urged in its September advocacy activities on Capitol Hill. We continue to call upon Congress to return following the election to complete FY2017 appropriations that includes the $2 billion National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding increase to $34.1 billion, as proposed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, which reflects real growth above biomedical inflation.

Although the CR is short-term, it could still impede the progress of research, especially since it reflects a net funding level slightly below that of FY2016 during this period. As a result, grants may be approved but not funded, jeopardizing labs and their employees. In some cases, investigators may require bridge funding from private funding foundations or institution philanthropic funding to continue the momentum of research and retain trained personnel. Research does not have a ‘pause button’.”
On September 15, NAEVR hosted 22 Emerging Vision Scientists from across the nation in visits with their Congressional delegations at which they requested a short-term CR and the $2 billion NIH increase in final FY2017 appropriations. On September 22, NAEVR participated in the Rally for Medical Research Advocacy Day—in which nearly 350 advocates made 250 Congressional office visits—and hosted researchers who echoed NAEVR’s request.

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.