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Congressman Higgins joins Congresswoman DeLauro to Introduce Bill Increasing Funding for National Institutes of Health

Sep 22, 2014
Press Release
Accelerating Biomedical Research Act Would Increase the Nation’s Investment Over the Next 7 Years, Advance Efforts to Improve Treatments & Find Cures

Congressman Brian Higgins joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro in introducing H.R. 5580, the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act.  This legislation will incrementally increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over the next seven years.  The DeLauro-Higgins bill is the House companion of S. 2658 introduced by Senator Harkin, a longstanding champion of NIH funding.  

“Increasing our investment in medical research should be a national priority for the jobs it creates and the lives it saves,” said Congressman Higgins.  “Unfortunately, Congress has let its commitment to medical research lag and American researchers are paying the price.  This bill will start to return vital funding to the NIH and continue our pursuit to find better treatments and cures for so many debilitating diseases. The only failure in medical research is when you quit or are forced to quit due to lack of funding.”

“One of my proudest accomplishments as a member of Congress is helping to double NIH’s funding,” Congresswoman DeLauro said. “Work supported by the NIH has saved the lives of countless Americans. Failure to invest in health research and disease prevention results in huge costs to our health, society, economy and knowledge itself.  Congress must stop forcing the NIH to do more with less.”

Dr. Eaton Lattman Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute HWI CEO and Principal Investigator for the NSF BioXFEL Science and Technology Center, announced in October 2013 said, “America's biomedical research infrastructure is being degraded in much the same way as it's physical infrastructure of bridges and roadways, through lack of adequate funding. Congressman Higgins' proposal to restore NIH funding to historic levels will regenerate our ability to find cures, and to deal with crises such as the Ebola virus outbreak.  It is desperately needed.”

"We applaud Congressman Higgins for his leadership on this critical issue," said Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). "The cuts to the NIH budget have slowed the pace of research advances. They're forcing clinical scientists to leave good ideas unexplored and to dedicate an unacceptable share of their time to seeking alternate funding. “This is impacting patients. You can come up with the most innovative approaches, but when you can’t get your projects funded, you can’t get them to patients.”

“My work focuses on cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in Erie County, in New York State, and in the country,” says John Canty, Jr., MD, Chair of Cardiovascular Diseases and chief of cardiovascular medicine in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “NIH support ensures that my team is able to conduct ground-breaking research in this area. And it is NIH support of innovative research that is fueling a thriving knowledge economy in Western New York, an important piece of which will be the opening of UB’s medical school right here on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.”

CUBRC CEO Tom McMahon said, “We are appreciative of Congressman Higgins support for legislation that would authorize increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  CUBRC has been performing biomedical research for well over a decade and without the funding provided by the US Government for this vital research, our world-class scientists and partners would simply not have the financial resources needed to move this important work forward.”

Chris Hansen, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said, “This year, it is estimated that cancer will kill 585,000 people in the U.S. and it will cost our economy an estimated $216 billion. The toll that it takes on families impacted by it is immeasurable. The introduction of the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act in the U.S. House of Representatives is an important step forward in the fight against cancer. This bill would allow NIH funding to increase by 10 percent for the first two years of its authorization and five percent each year thereafter, which would be a significant boost to cancer research across the country. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network strongly commends Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and Congressman Brian Higgins for introducing the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and their longstanding leadership in the fight against cancer.” 

Since 2003, funding for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has not kept pace with inflation. Accounting for inflation, in FY 2013 funding for NIH was 22 percent less than 2003 funding levels.  Between fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the NIH issued approximately 700 fewer competitive research project grants, down from 8,896 in 2012 to 8,283 in 2013 and there were approximately 750 fewer new patients admitted to the NIH Clinical Center, down from 10,695 in 2012 to 9,945 in 2013. 

Accelerating Biomedical Research Act will allot additional funding to the NIH each year for the next seven years that will exceed the amount allowed through the cap put in place by the Budget Control Act in 2011. The NIH currently receives $29.9 billion; H.R. 5580 will raise this to over $46.2 billion by 2021. 



Baseline NIH Funding

Increase in NIH Funding under Higgins/DeLauro Bill

Total NIH Funding under Higgins/DeLauro Bill

























FY 2021





NIH grant funding is especially important to the success and growth of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where jobs are expected to grow to nearly 17,000 by 2017.  Local recipients receiving the largest allocations of NIH funding include: Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the University at Buffalo, CUBRC and the Hauptman-Woodward Institute.  Research institutions and scientists working in Congressman Higgins district have received close to $89 million in NIH funding in FY2013 and FY2014 alone.