President Obama’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2016 is now under consideration in Congress. House and Senate spending panels are holding hearings with federal agency heads and receiving input from outside stakeholders.
For FY 2016, President Obama proposed modest increases to agencies important to the infectious diseases community, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, +1.6 percent), National Institutes of Health (NIH, +3.3 percent), and Food and Drug Administration (+5.7 percent). The president’s request to double funding for the CDC viral hepatitis program as well as to nearly double support for antimicrobial resistance programs across the government has initially drawn positive attention on the Hill. Most global infectious disease programs were slated for flat funding, with global tuberculosis programs again singled out for a 17 percent cut in funding.
During a March 3 hearing of NIH leaders in the House subcommittee that has oversight of much of health spending, antimicrobial resistance was mentioned as a top research priority by leaders of the subcommittee as well as by NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, MD, FIDSA. Despite this agreement, many on the panel noted that sequestration poses a challenge to new spending proposals. House and Senate leaders are separately looking at ideas to provide at least short-term relief from sequestration. Absent an agreement, sequestration will result in a reduction to the overall federal budget for FY 2016, largely preventing agency increases.
IDSA staff and members have been active on Capitol Hill in support of ID priorities in the budget. IDSA is leading efforts to build support among other organizations for increased funding to address antimicrobial resistance, including coordinating a recent letter and leading groups of stakeholders in meetings with key congressional offices.
If you have not already done so, please join the IDSA advocacy effort by taking 3 minutes to send a message to your representative and senators through the IDSA Action Center.
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