Document justifies $1.1 billion increase to sustain progress
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has released its annual plan and budget proposal, "The Nation's Investment in Cancer Research." By law, the document, also referred to as the "bypass budget," must be prepared annually and provided directly to the president. It has been a powerful tool for engaging public support and guiding public policy.
In the NCI's professional judgment, the agency will require $1.1 billion in additional funding next fiscal year to accelerate progress and fully capitalize upon the projects that were initiated with funds received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
In his FY2011 budget request to Congress, President Obama recently recommended that Congress increase NCI funding by a more modest $161 million, a 3.16 percent increase that would bring the total to $5.26 billion. As legislators gear up for months of debate on appropriations, the cancer research community hopes that the president's numbers will be viewed by legislators as a starting point for greater expansion.
The AACR, as part of the One Voice Against Cancer Coalition (OVAC), a broad coalition of cancer-focused organizations, hosted a briefing in late February on Capitol Hill entitled “The Case for Cancer Research Funding” to educate members of Congress and congressional staff about the dramatic new opportunities that have resulted from the Recovery Act investment. Anna Barker, Ph.D., deputy director of the NCI, Steven R. Patierno, Ph.D., executive director of The George Washington Cancer Institute, Ralph H. Hruban, M.D., director of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Research Center at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, offered firsthand accounts of exciting progress taking place. Barbara Burd and her daughter, Tracy Elliman, presented a moving patient perspective of the innovation they have witnessed and benefited from, but urged continued federal investment to improve cancer prevention and treatment.
House and Senate Budget Committees are in the process of developing a budget resolution, which will divide spending totals into broad functional categories. Congress is supposed to approve the resolution by April 15, but that deadline is often missed.
Read More from the March 2010 Edition of the AACR Cancer Policy Monitor: