Today, Research!America urged the 114th Congress to take action on five science priorities in the first 100 days of the legislative session in order to elevate research and innovation on the nation’s agenda:
- Advance the 21st Century Cures Initiative. Spearheaded by Representatives Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.),the initiative is a promising step in the right direction, focusing on speeding medical progress from bench-to-bedside by integrating patient perspectives into the regulatory process, modernizing clinical trials, and reducing red tape, among other things.
- Repeal the medical device tax. A provision in the Affordable Care Act, efforts to repeal the medical device tax have garnered bipartisan support as policymakers and industry leaders raise concerns about the tax’s impact on jobs and innovation.
- Enhance and make the R&D tax permanent. The credit, established in 1981, allows companies to deduct certain research expenses, but the short-term extensions have created uncertainty for businesses that rely on long-term planning for research investments.
- Eliminate Sequestration. As part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, sequestration has taken a significant toll on the research ecosystem, forcing institutions to scale back or eliminate important studies and cut jobs. A two-year bipartisan budget deal for FY14 and FY15 reduced the cuts for those years, but the full sequester returns in FY16.
- Increase FY16 funding for the federal health agencies. The National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received razor thin increases, less than 1 percent, in the FY15 spending bill. The National Science Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration fared slightly better with increases of 2.4 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality was cut by .08 percent. Congress must increase funding for the federal health agencies in FY16 to accelerate scientific discovery and the development of cures and new therapies for deadly and disabling diseases.
Read the full press release and urge your member of Congress to support these efforts to overcome the many diseases afflicting Americans.