AACR Presidents, Past and Present, Lead Effort to Urge Congress to Support Funding for Medical Research

With the 2014 midterm elections behind us and the U.S. Congress in the midst of a “lame duck” session, lawmakers are focused on finalizing the fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills, which includes funding for both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In fact, if Congress is unable to come to agreement on the spending bills by December 11th, Congress will need to pass an additional short-term spending measure to avoid a government shutdown.

Therefore, as negotiations around these spending bills continue, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has been making its voice heard on Capitol Hill to ensure members of Congress recognize the importance of the NIH and NCI to our nation’s health and economy.

To this end, an alliance of AACR presidents, which included all 30 living former presidents of the AACR as well as its current president, Carlos Arteaga, MD, recently sent a letter to Congress urging them to work together in a bipartisan fashion to restore funding for the NIH and NCI to, at minimum, pre-sequestration levels. By prioritizing medical research and restoring the funding that was lost due to the arbitrary sequester cuts, Congress has the authority to place the NIH and NCI back on a path toward sustaining their positions as the world’s leaders in research and development.

The AACR now also calls upon you, our readers, to help us reinforce this message. Get involved by contacting your members of Congress today and urge them to make NIH funding, which is critical to the health of all Americans and to the health of our economy, a national priority.