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IDSA Statement on the House of Representatives State and Foreign Operations and Labor, Health and Human Services FY 2018 funding bills


The Infectious Diseases Society of America appreciates that House appropriators recognized several central and urgent public health and research priorities in their funding bills for the coming fiscal year. However, we are awaiting funding details for critical Centers for Disease Control and Prevention programs that receive funding through the Prevention and Public Health Fund, including the CDCís Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infections Diseases, which supports antimicrobial resistance efforts, and CDCís immunizations programs. We strongly urge Congress to provide full funding for these priorities. We also note that to ensure robust, sustainable support for all ID/HIV priorities requires a bipartisan budget agreement that increases the spending caps.

Rejecting the White House proposal to deal historic cuts to the National Institutes of Health, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services bill provides a $1.1 billion increase to NIH funding, supporting continued biomedical research to address continuing and emerging global and domestic health challenges at a critical time. We deeply appreciate the subcommittee membersí continued support for the NIH Fogarty International Center, slated for elimination under the Trump administration proposal. Their decision to preserve the Center and include a 1.5 percent increase over fiscal year 2017 funding for its work in the year ahead reflects an understanding of the pivotal role that Fogartyís collaborative and global reach, as well as its grants to U.S. research entities plays in American scientific leadership of biomedical advances.

The bill also adds necessary resources to confront the growing threats posed by emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, as well as by the need for new medicines for infections resistant to current treatments with an increase of $99 million over FY 2017 funding to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as the $33 million increase in funding for the instituteís antimicrobial resistance research. The $8.3 million increase over current funding for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, will further strengthen efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance. Maintained funding for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV/AIDS, STD, TB Hepatitis Center as well as a $45 million increase for the CDCís Preventionís Public Health and Preparedness and Response Programs provided in the bill also show the subcommitteeís support and understanding of the ongoing need for strong and effective efforts to protect Americanís health.

In addition, we thank subcommittee members for maintaining funding for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís Global AIDS program, and rejecting the Presidentís call to cut the programís resources in half at a time when continued momentum to ending HIV as a global health threat is essential. The bill also offers continued support for other CDC Center for Global Health programs, with funding consistent with FY 2017 levels.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations also has chosen to support a path of continued U.S. health leadership by maintaining funding for the U.S. Presidentís Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the face of an administration proposal that would have dealt devastating blows to the work supported by both programs. In this instance too, however, we remain concerned that the bill undermines the effectiveness of the programs it otherwise supports, in this case by supporting damaging policies that further restrict funding for family planning activities under an expanded Mexico City Policy, prohibits funding to the United Nations Population Fund, and caps family planning and reproductive health programs at 2008 funding levels.

We greatly appreciate the support both bills provide for necessary and ongoing work to control the impacts of infectious diseases, protect Americans at home and abroad, and maintain U.S. scientific, humanitarian, and global health security leadership in a difficult budget climate. We hope that as the bills move through the appropriations process, and as the full House and Senate determine funding for the coming fiscal year, these bills can be strengthened. We will continue to monitor developments, and alert appropriators to important issues as they arise.

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