Newswise — The Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) applauds the budget deal passed by Congress for Fiscal Year 2020.
The House voted 297-120 on December 17 to approve the Fiscal Year 2020 spending package that contains the Labor Health & Human Services provision. Two days later, the Senate voted 71-23 to pass the eight-bill domestic spending bundle, H.R. 1865 (116), that would fund the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Interior, Labor, State, Agriculture, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development, among other projects, including Tobacco 21, which would raise the minimum purchase age for tobacco products to 21 nationwide. The bill was signed by the president just prior to the midnight deadline on December 20.
The final budget deal included several legislative wins for the biomedical and cancer research communities: the budget allocates $41.7 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — a $2.6 billion increase, and $6.44 billion to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) — a $296 million increase. This includes $212.5 million targeted toward competitive NCI grants.
The funding increases are especially important at a time when grant requests to the NCI are outpacing available funds. To help close the gap, AACI continues to advocate for an increase to the NCI budget proportional to the NIH budget increase.
"Investment in the NIH and the NCI is essential to building on the many successes of our nation’s cancer centers," said Roy A. Jensen, MD, AACI president and director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center. "The future of cancer discovery hinges on research funding. We especially appreciate the work of Subcommittee Chairs Roy Blunt and Rosa DeLauro and Ranking Members Patty Murray and Tom Cole. They, and their staff, listened to our concerns related to the research project grant pool and this funding boost is a major step in the right direction."
AACI is dedicated to reducing the burden of cancer by enhancing the impact of North America’s leading academic cancer centers. For more information, please visit www.aaci-cancer.org.