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Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Senate Approves 3.7% Raise for NIH
15 July 2005 (All day)
A Senate panel yesterday approved a $1.05 billion raise for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2006, which would bring the agency's total budget to $29.4 billion. Also this week in Congress, a House subcommittee floated a proposal to revamp the management of NIH that has some biomedical research advocates worried.
The 3.7% raise approved this week by the Senate appropriations committee is higher than the House's version of the bill, which essentially matches the president's 0.5% requested increase of $145 million. NIH watchers are hoping the Senate figure will prevail in a conference later this year to reconcile the two bills. But the accounting maneuvers that the Senate used to find the extra money may not be acceptable to the House, notes Dave Moore, head of governmental relations for the Association of American Medical Colleges. "We're obviously pleased that they put in $1 billion, but we're concerned that it won't hold," he says. A report accompanying the bill echoes a request from the House that NIH avoid overlap with commercial products as it develops PubChem, a public database of bioactive molecules (ScienceNOW, 10 June, 2005).
Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Committee health subcommittee released to advocacy groups a "discussion draft" of a bill that would re-authorize NIH, or spell out its mission, for the first time since 1993. The bill's main thrust would be to give the NIH director more flexibility to move money among NIH's 27 institutes and centers and fund cross-institute research. It reflects advice from an Institute of Medicine committee and long-running concerns that NIH's sprawling structure leads to the same research being done in more than one institute.
But some provisions worry biomedical research advocates, including a possible limit on NIH's annual budget growth to 5% or less from 2007 to 2009. "The research community is very concerned about what the overall authorization levels will be. We're watching it very closely," says Pat White, a lobbyist for the Association of American Universities. The committee plans to hold a hearing next week on a revised bill. It is unclear whether the Senate will introduce similar legislation.