The AASM submitted a statement to the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health regarding the President’s proposed FY2012 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The AASM stated that it supports funding levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will allow the careful continuation of the current research agenda and urged Congress to recognize the value of the NIH as an incubator for advancing scientific and health-care knowledge. The AASM cautioned that implementing across-the-board budget cuts could stop prominent, patient-oriented research in mid-stream, creating a gap in the research field. Next week the AASM will send a similar statement to the Senate.

In testimony during a March 3 hearing before the Subcommittee on Health, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted that the President’s proposed budget includes $32 billion for NIH, which would represent an increased investment of $745 million over the FY 2010 enacted level. She also reported that NIH estimates it will support a total of 36,852 research project grants in FY 2012, including 9,158 new and competing awards.