June 15, 2011

NIH Budget Finds Friends on Capitol Hill

In the middle of a chilly climate for most domestic federal expenditures, a ray of light for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as they attempt to protect their upcoming 2011-12 budget appropriations against legislative hostility.  NIH Director Francis Colllins testified to Congress regarding A letter being circulated by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bob Casey (D-PA) is asking their colleagues to protect the appropriations for the nation's leading biomedical research enterprise (federally funded).  Contrast the approximately $30 billion or so that NIH receives with, for example, the resources of the privately funded Howard Hughes Medical Institute with a 2010 endowment of about $14.8 billion. The letter eventually was signed by 41 senators,enough to signal that NIH has a significant fan base in the Senate (or at least publicly-identified fans), which could help protect its allotment in upcoming budget negotiations.

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