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Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Urgent Need to Pass an FY23 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

December 8, 2022

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On December 8, 2022, UMR wrote to House and Senate Leadership pressing for urgent passage of a fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill – one that includes a critical increase to the base budget of the National Institutes of Health.

The letter states:

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leaders Schumer, McConnell, and McCarthy:

On behalf of United for Medical Research (UMR), which represents leading scientific research institutions and industries, and patient advocates, we cannot express in strong enough terms the need to pass an FY 2023 omnibus Appropriations bill – and one that includes critical funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Both the House and Senate this year have produced bills that provide lifesaving increases to NIH’s baseline budget (House: $2.5 billion; Senate: $2 billion). This funding level follows several years of bipartisan funding increases for NIH, essential investments that have begun to put the agency back on stable ground.

Because of this growing stability, the NIH and the biomedical research community was uniquely positioned to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic by producing lifesaving vaccinations. That partnership will be even more prepared for the next pandemic.

Beyond COVID-19, our nation continues to see groundbreaking, NIH-driven research at work. For example, MIT scientists have developed technology that inserts long strands of DNA to treat genetic diseases caused by many different mutations, such as cystic fibrosis. And researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are utilizing mRNA technology to develop a flu vaccine that would respond far more effectively to new flu viruses – an exciting step toward a universal flu vaccine.

In addition to the groundbreaking discoveries and innovations that save lives and improve public health in the United States and around the world, there is an exponential return on every dollar invested in NIH. According to a UMR report released in March, research funding from NIH supported 552,444 jobs and generated $94.18 billion in economic activity last year — or $2.60 of economic activity for every $1 of research funding. The report details NIH funding and the related economic activity in every state and the District of Columbia.

We are truly grateful for your support as NIH funding has become more stable over the last seven years. We are once again beginning to see the true promise and potential of America’s biomedical research community. Without a FY 2023 funding bill, however, NIH could be forced to delay research that delivers on that promise – an outcome that not only cost lives, but also extinguishes hope for countless families.

We urge you to maintain a strong NIH budget for FY 2023 by including a $2.5 billion increase for NIH, which will ensure the United States continues making biomedical research innovation a national priority.

Again, we thank you for your leadership, and for standing up for improving the health of all Americans through robust investments in the NIH.