Washington Update

Bills to Expand Biomedical Research Funding

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Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has introduced a bill that would increase U.S. investments in biomedical research. The Helping Encourage Advancements in Lifesaving Science or America HEALS Act would create a mandatory trust fund dedicated to supporting research at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense Health Program and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. The legislation would increase funding for these agencies and programs at a rate of GDP-indexed inflation plus 5% every year.

“More than half of basic research funding in the U.S. comes from the federal government,” Eshoo said, “yet we spend two-thirds less on research and development than we did in 1965. A trust fund for our biomedical research agencies can reverse this dangerous trend and ensure that the United States is the leader in scientific discovery.”

Senate Majority Whip and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced a companion bill, the America Cures Act, in the Senate.

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