Last month the House of Representatives advanced the fiscal year 2022 Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill, which provides funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and several other Society priorities.
We were extremely pleased to see a base appropriation for the NIH that was consistent with our request of approximately $46 billion, or an increase of ~$3.5 billion. The total request for the NIH was $49 billion and included $3 billion directed specifically to a new agency called the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). While the bill passed the full House Appropriations Committee by a party line vote of 33-25, representatives from both parties enthusiastically supported the substantial increases for the NIH included in the legislation.
In addition to a significant increase in funding for biomedical research, the report accompanying the legislation included text that the Endocrine Society advocated for during our Research Hill Day. This “report language” identifies congressional priorities that agencies are expected to address in the coming year. In a section on COVID-19-related research priorities, the report notes the difference in severity and outcomes for COVID-19 between female and male patients due to sex and gender influences, including for patients with long-term symptoms following infection.
To better understand how sex differences are implicated in the severity of the COVID–19 pandemic, the committee encouraged the institutes and centers of the NIH in coordination with the NIH Office of the Director and Office of Women’s Health Research to support research that studies how sex as a biological variable impacts short- and long-term outcomes due to infection with COVID-19. Other Endocrine Society priorities, such as support for the Diabetes Prevention Program, improving pediatric reference ranges, and research concerning climate and health and PCOS were also included.
We were extremely pleased to see a base appropriation for the NIH that was consistent with our request of approximately $46 billion, or an increase of ~$3.5 billion.
The House passed its version of the LHHS appropriations bill the last week of July. The Senate, however, still has not come to an agreement on its version of this funding bill and several others and it is expected that action will be stalled until September, and that there is a strong likelihood that it will not be able to pass a final funding bill by September 30, 2021, the end of the fiscal year. If that is the case, Congress will pass a Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government operating at this year’s funding levels, erasing any increases. Consequently, advocacy supporting passage of a final funding bill with increases for the NIH and other Endocrine Society priorities is critical.
TAKE ACTION: Endocrine Society members need to urge their congressional delegation to take action so that these proposed increases for the NIH can become a reality through the Society’s online advocacy campaign (endocrine.org/takeaction).
Now really is the time to let your representative and senators know how important it is to support research funding. Taking action is easy, quick, and effective. Our campaign will provide you with a template email and direct it to your elected officials.