Proposed NIH/NIA Legislation:
FY 2010 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations - On December 16, the President signed H.R. 3288, a package of six spending measures, into Public Law 111-117. The bill contains the FY 2010 appropriation for NIH and funds NIA at $1.1 billion (see Budget report).
H.R. 3590, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - On November 21, the Senate, by a vote of 60-39, moved to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed on H.R. 3590. Senate language is a combination of S. 1796, health care reform legislation drafted by the Senate Committee on Finance and S. 1679, health care reform legislation by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. This legislation includes research provisions of interest to NIH that were in the previous two versions, including research on comparative effectiveness, pain care management, postpartum depression, and emergency medicine.
H.R. 2987, the Cure and Understanding through Research for Alzheimer’s Disease (La Cura Act) of 2009 -Introduced in the House on June 19 by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA). The measure proposes to amend the Public Health Service Act to ensure sufficient resources and increase efforts for research at the National Institutes of Health relating to Alzheimer's disease, to authorize an education and outreach program to promote public awareness and risk reduction with respect to Alzheimer's disease (with particular emphasis on education and outreach in Hispanic populations), and for other purposes. The measure is pending action by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
H.R. 3286/S. 1492 – On July 22, Representative Markey (D-MA) and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D- MD) introduced the Alzheimer’s Break Through Act of 2009. H.R. 3286/S. 1492 would increase the authorization level for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research, and require the Director of the NIA to make supporting AD research a priority for the Institute. In addition, the legislation would require an expansion of clinical research on AD with a focus on (1) early diagnosis and detection, (2) the relationship of vascular disease and AD, and (3) expediting the translation of research findings into effective treatments and prevention strategies. The bill would require the Secretary, HHS, within 3 years of enactment of the legislation and every 3 years thereafter, to convene a summit on AD for the purpose of providing a detailed overview of current research activities at the NIH, as well as to discuss and solicit input to potential areas of collaboration between the NIH and other Federal agencies related to research, prevention and treatment of AD. The measure is pending action by the House Energy and Commerce and the Senate HELP Committees.
H.R. 3170, the FY 2010 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act- On July 16, the House passed H.R. 3170 by a vote of 219-208. This legislation contains many government-wide provisions applicable to NIH. Of note, this legislation continues the A-76 prohibition regarding competitive sourcing and contains a new provision that would require each department or agency to develop an inventory of service contracts. Regarding the annual cost-of-living allowance for Federal employees, H.R. 3170 does not contain a pay raise provision since the House agrees with the Administrations’ request of two percent. This measure has passed the House and was referred to the Senate for action.
On May 20, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced S. 1110, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) Reform Act of 2009. Of interest to NIH are provisions that would authorize the Commission to advise the Secretary, through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)  and NIH, on priorities for health services research. In addition, it would authorize the Commission to have access to all raw data and research conducted or funded by the Federal government, including data and research produced by NIH, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and AHRQ. Finally, NIH and AHRQ would be required, not less than twice a year, to submit a report to the Commission containing information on any research conducted which has relevance for the determinations and recommendations being considered by the Commission. S. 1110 is still pending action by the Senate Committee on Finance.
P.L. 111-89 - Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 - On October 30, the President signed into law S. 1929, a bill to provide for an additional temporary extension for the Small Business Innovation (SBIR) program]. Both House and Senate debated and passed the bill on October 28, reauthorizing the several agency programs through January 31, 2010. Without an extension, the authority for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs would have expired on October 31, 2009. The SBIR Program has been extended through several short-term authorization measures since 2007, including a reauthorization measure signed into law Sept. 30 (P.L. 111-66).
NIA Congressional Briefings:
On October 2, at the request of Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX), NIA/NIH provided a briefing and tour for the Congressman on the topic of his request, Alzheimer’s Disease. Participating in this visit was Dr. Francis Collins, Director, NIH; Dr. Richard Hodes, Director, NIA/NIH, and Drs. Andy Singleton, Dimitrios Kapogiannis, Neil Buckholtz, John Haaga, Marcelle Morrison-Bogorad, and Susan Resnick, NIA. Accompanying Dr. Burgess was Sery Kim, Senior Legislative Counsel.
(For more information, contact Dr. Tamara Jones, Legislative Officer, NIA, Ph. 301-451-8835.)