Advocacy to Increase NIH Funding Pays Dividends: $3 Billion Increase Signed into Law

By ASN Staff

Responding to coordinated, consistent advocacy from ASN and other proponents of medical research funding, Congress and President Trump have passed and signed into law a spending bill that increases funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $3 billion in 2018—an 8.8% increase over 2017 funding levels.  The legislation received strong bipartisan support, passing the House 256-167 and the Senate 65-32.

President Trump signed the massive spending bill into law midafternoon on Friday, March 23, narrowly averting a government shutdown that would have taken effect at midnight.

Increasing overall NIH funding, with a proportional increase for the National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), is a top advocacy priority for ASN.  This message was the focus of both Kidney Health Advocacy Day 2017 and Kidney Community Advocacy Day 2017, when ASN brought together 21 kidney organizations to make the case for investing in greater funding for kidney research. 

NIDDK will receive $1,970,797,000 in 2018, a 5.29% increase over 2017 levels.  While this number is lower than the overall 8.8% NIH increase, it reflects Congress’ choice to allocate funding to NIH for several pressing public health needs, such as research to help stem the opioid crisis.  The fact that additional funding was allocated for this Congressional priority—instead of being funded at the expense of increases for institute centers’ budgets—is a reflection of Congress’ strong belief in all of the work that NIH conducts, including kidney research. 

While the ink is barely dry on the 2018 spending bill, ASN is already hard at work urging lawmakers to robustly fund NIH in the 2019 spending bill, which Congress is developing.  The society will continue to make NIH and NIDDK increases a priority for 2019, and members should stay tuned for opportunities to contact their members of Congress to help achieve increases for next year’s budget.

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Responding to coordinated, consistent advocacy from ASN and other proponents of medical research funding, Congress and President Trump have passed and signed into law a spending bill that increases funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $3 billion in 2018—an 8.8% increase over 2017 funding levels.  The legislation received strong bipartisan support, passing the House 256-167 and the Senate 65-32.

President Trump signed the massive spending bill into law midafternoon on Friday, March 23, narrowly averting a government shutdown that would have taken effect at midnight.

Increasing overall NIH funding, with a proportional increase for the National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), is a top advocacy priority for ASN.  This message was the focus of both Kidney Health Advocacy Day 2017 and Kidney Community Advocacy Day 2017, when ASN brought together 21 kidney organizations to make the case for investing in greater funding for kidney research. 

NIDDK will receive $1,970,797,000 in 2018, a 5.29% increase over 2017 levels.  While this number is lower than the overall 8.8% NIH increase, it reflects Congress’ choice to allocate funding to NIH for several pressing public health needs, such as research to help stem the opioid crisis.  The fact that additional funding was allocated for this Congressional priority—instead of being funded at the expense of increases for institute centers’ budgets—is a reflection of Congress’ strong belief in all of the work that NIH conducts, including kidney research. 

While the ink is barely dry on the 2018 spending bill, ASN is already hard at work urging lawmakers to robustly fund NIH in the 2019 spending bill, which Congress is developing.  The society will continue to make NIH and NIDDK increases a priority for 2019, and members should stay tuned for opportunities to contact their members of Congress to help achieve increases for next year’s budget.

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Friday, March 23, 2018