Washington, D.C. July 9, 2013 — American Heart Association President Mariell Jessup, M.D., made the following comments today on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education’s proposed FY 2014 budget appropriation for the National Institutes of Health. The recommendation restores the sequester cuts and includes an increase of $307 million:
“The increase to NIH’s budget, proposed today by the Senate Subcommittee, will finally stop the agency from falling down the sequester funding hole. The American Heart Association thanks Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for raising their voices in support of vital medical research which creates jobs and, more importantly, saves lives.
“The almost $31 billion appropriations recommended will tip the scales back toward a more adequate level of support for the NIH. We hope the subcommittee’s recommendation also signals the beginning of a dialogue on establishing a more sustained source of funding for future NIH budgets. Research is the lifeblood of new treatments and cures for the top killers of Americans, such as heart disease and stroke. Yet federal funding for research has been caught in the crosshairs of Congress’s annual fiscal fight for the last decade. If we do not change course soon, our nation will lose its best and brightest young researchers to other careers, and jeopardize the health of all Americans now and in the future.
“The American Heart Association strongly urges the House Appropriations Subcommittee to follow the Senate’s example and recommend the same support for the NIH 2014 budget.
“We also want to thank the Senate Subcommittee for providing $5 million in federal funding for the Million Hearts initiative, and another $5 million for Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program. Both of these programs save lives and we are pleased that they will continue to receive support. In addition, we were gratified to see that after years of flat funding, the subcommittee recommended a 5 percent increase to the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.”
Contact: Retha Sherrod, 202-785-7929