PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) commends Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) for prioritizing funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS-Education) Appropriations Subcommittee Bill announced Tuesday. The Chairman’s fiscal year 2017 proposal matches last year’s $2 billion increase for the NIH.

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“The AACR has been consistently advocating for robust, sustained, and predictable annual funding increases for the NIH,” said AACR president Nancy E. Davidson, MD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. “Today’s funding proposal by Chairman Blunt is an extremely significant one, in that it would help ensure that our nation’s researchers and physician scientists are provided with the resources necessary to make the scientific breakthroughs that are vital for improving the health of all Americans.’ ‘In addition, we are especially pleased that this considerable budget increase for NIH in FY 2017 would provide support for the Administration’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative, an exciting and important effort by Vice President Biden to channel resources, technology, and our collective knowledge to save lives from this deadly disease.”

The Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill builds upon momentum that began in December 2015 with Congress’s passage of the omnibus appropriations bill, which provided a $2 billion increase for the NIH and a corresponding $264 million increase for the National Cancer Institute in fiscal year 2016.

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“We are extremely appreciative of Senator Blunt’s leadership and commitment to medical research, and we are particularly pleased that he is funding NIH through his Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee allocation, as opposed to relying on a new ‘mandatory’ stream of funding,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “During the past year, we have seen a groundswell of bipartisan support for the NIH on Capitol Hill, and today’s mark-up shows that leaders in Congress understand the value and importance of ensuring that NIH’s annual budget increases are robust, sustained, and predictable.”