WASHINGTON, DC—Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Brian Higgins (D-NY) today introduced the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act. That legislation would allow Congress to restore the purchasing power of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s funding to what it would have been if it had kept up with inflation since 2003. Representative Peter King (R-NY) is an original cosponsor.

“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.  Whether it is cancer, Ebola, or the flu, the benefits of medical research are obvious. Congress must stop forcing the NIH to do more with less.”

“As the world’s leading research institution, NIH research on-site and at designated institutions across the nation has saved countless lives and increased the quality of life for millions,” said Higgins.  “Unfortunately, this Nation 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 $29.4 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 about six percent each year thereafter through 2021.

A coalition of over 100 advocacy groups and research institutions support the legislation, which is substantively the same as legislation introduced by DeLauro and Higgins last September.

Last year DeLauro 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.