ASBMB statement on the draft House Labor-HHS Appropriations bill for FY 2025

July 9, 2024

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) thanks the appropriations committee for its longstanding support for the biomedical research enterprise and, specifically, for the National Institutes of Health. We appreciate the committee’s proposal to provide sustained funding at $48 billion in the FY25 budget for the NIH amidst significant fiscal constraints.  

However, ASBMB, in partnership with hundreds of members of the research stakeholder community, urges Congress to fund the NIH at $51.3 billion, or a 9% increase, for the agency’s base program level. The U.S. research enterprise needs predictable, sustained and increased funding for its key science agencies to take full advantage of the scientific progress that drives new treatments and therapies, enables U.S. global leadership, and fuels the powerful American economic engine in research, biotechnology, and drug discovery. As other nations are investing heavily in science and technology, we must ensure that America’s historic leadership continues with similarly strong support. ASBMB’s requested appropriation level would rectify the continued eroding impact of inflation on the U.S. scientific enterprise and continue to invest in scientific innovation, paving the path for scientific breakthroughs, strengthening the scientific workforce and supporting local economies across the country.  

Although ASBMB welcomes the opportunity to engage in emergent discussions about how to optimize NIH and build on its long track record of achievement for the American people, we are deeply concerned about the major structural and policy changes included in the current appropriations bill. We believe that such profoundly important policy decisions should be made on the foundation of a thorough consultative process that considers the approach to — and long-term impacts of — any such changes. We believe this process should be prompt and deliberate but with sufficient time for congressional hearings, considered bipartisanship, and substantial stakeholder input, ensuring we protect the many strengths of the enterprise while addressing concerns.  

All Americans — from all regions, backgrounds and affiliations — have a deep, vested interest in ensuring NIH’s continued success because we are all deeply committed to the health of families, neighbors and communities in the U.S. and around the world. As NIH is the world’s premier research agency, we respectfully ask the committee to support robust funding that will ensure the nation continues to invest strongly and wisely in scientific progress. As a leading advocate for biomedical research, ASBMB emphasizes the importance of fundamental scientific understanding and prioritizes the critical need to invest in the next generation of scientific leadership through STEM education and training.  In both appropriations and authorization deliberations, we welcome the opportunity to engage congressional committees and leaders about ways the U.S. can continue to enhance and deploy scientific expertise to serve the American people.