WASHINGTON, DC—Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Brian Higgins (D-NY) today introduced the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act, which would allow the budget cap put in place by the Budget Control Act (BCA) to be adjusted for increased investments in the National Institute of Health (NIH). Doing so would allow the appropriations committees to restore NIH funding to the purchasing power it would have if it had kept up with inflation since 2003.

“One of my proudest accomplishments as a member of Congress is helping to double NIH’s funding,” DeLauro said. “Work supported by the NIH has saved the lives of countless Americans. Failure to invest in health research and disease prevention results in huge costs to our health, society, economy and knowledge itself.  Congress must stop forcing the NIH to do more with less.”

“Increasing our investment in medical research should be a national priority for the jobs it creates and the lives it saves,” said Higgins.  “Unfortunately, Congress has let its commitment to medical research lag and American researchers are paying the price.  This bill will start to return vital funding to the NIH and continue our pursuit to find better treatments and cures for so many debilitating diseases. The only failure in medical research is when you quit or are forced to quit due to lack of funding.”

The Accelerating Biomedical Research Act would create a new BCA cap adjustment for NIH. Any funding provided in excess of $29.9 billion would trigger a budget cap increase to accommodate the additional funding provided to the NIH. The bill would allow appropriations to increase NIH funding by 10 percent for the first two years and five percent each year thereafter. A coalition of over 100 advocacy groups and research institutions support the legislation.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have for the past two years refused to introduce legislation funding NIH, depriving the public of a debate about the importance of biomedical research. DeLauro recently introduced a Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill that would increase NIH funding by $778 million. That would fully restore NIH to the level it was at before the indiscriminate, deeply harmful sequester cuts.