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AACR Opposes Proposed ‘Draconian Cuts’ To The NIH 2011 Budget

Government BudgetsThe United States Congress will soon be facing another budget showdown as their sixth continuing resolution expires on April 8, 2011. While the entire government has been without permanent appropriations for nearly six months, the House Republicans and Senate Democrats continue to remain far apart on resolving the fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget.

Among the myriad of issues under discussion is a House-passed bill (H.R. 1), which cuts funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $1.6 billion in FY 2011. The alternative Senate proposal would maintain NIH funding at current levels (FY 2010). A cut of this magnitude proposed by the House would slow research progress and squander invaluable scientific opportunities to the detriment of our nation’s health and our ability to maintain leadership in the global innovation economy.

Jon Retzlaff, managing director of the AACR’s Office of Science Policy and Government Affairs in Washington, D.C., said the $1.6 billion cut would leave the NIH budget at $29.4 billion, which is where it was in fiscal year 2008. However, when adjusted for biomedical inflation, H.R. 1 reduces NIH’s funding capacity to just slightly above the FY 2001 level.

“The numbers are staggering because even at 2010 levels the NIH has lost 13 percent of its purchasing power since 2003 because increases have not kept pace with inflation,” said Retzlaff. “It is unfathomable that members of Congress are considering this draconian cut to the NIH budget at a time when we are poised to make a quantum leap in our abilities to help millions of patients. The AACR will work with our allies in Congress and the advocacy community to ensure that NIH is funded at least at its FY 2010 level.”

Material adapted from American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

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One Response to AACR Opposes Proposed ‘Draconian Cuts’ To The NIH 2011 Budget

  1. avatar
    Christopher Fisher, PhD April 5, 2011 at 11:32 AM #

    This is only the start of the very deep cuts that will happen across many federally funded programs over the next few years. The federal government and most state governments are basically bankrupt due to utter financial incompetence and mismanagement of taxpayer’s money. The government will be forced to make even more severe cuts in most every area, including education, healthcare, research, entitlement programs of every kind, Social Security, and more. This MUST happen else the federal government and its financial system will collapse under staggering debt.

    Based on general public reactions to these cuts, I do not believe that most people understand the seriousness of this dire situation. It seems that every proposed or actual federal budget cut receives outrage from the group whose budget gets cut. They simply do not understand that although the cut is painful, it is better to receive less than none at all. And we know that some organizations will indeed be cut out of the budget altogether.

    The alternative to limited or no federal budget reductions is a federal monetary collapse and the societal breakdowns and chaos that follow.

    I welcome others’ thoughts or comments to these views.

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