The Future of NIH (William Yost )

Subject: The Future of NIH
From:    William Yost  <WYOST(at)WPO.IT.LUC.EDU>
Date:    Fri, 6 Oct 1995 13:23:49 -0500

A day ago I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Congressman John Porter (R, IL) regarding NIH. Congressman Porter is Chair of the overall House Appropriations Subcommittee and the Appropriations Subcommittee with NIH oversight. In these roles he has been a passionate supporter of NIH and he is the architect of the 5+% increase in the NIH budget that is part of the approved House appropriation for next year (to appreciate his views, you might look at the June 30, 1995 issue (vol 268) of Science and read his lead editorial). In our meeting Congressman Porter explained that in the next 3 to 4 weeks the budget will be decided probably on the basis of an almost unprecedented conference between the leaders of Congress and the White House. Congressman Porter is gravely concerned that the NIH might receive some cuts at such a conference rather than the increase it must have. Congressman Porter expressed the belief that this might be the year that NIH is either sustained or forever reduced. Even a 5% increase places the NIH under stress, any cuts will force the NIH to fundamentally change the way in which it supports basic science, most likely ending any significant extramural support for basic research. The key players at this point in time are Congressman Gingrich, Senator Dole, and most importantly President Clinton. Congressman Gingrich can be contacted at FAX: 202-225-7733, EMAIL: geogria(at); United States House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515; Senator Dole at FAX: 202-228-1245, United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; Senator Specter at FAX: 202-224-1893, United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510 and President Clinton at EMAIL: president(at), White House, 1700 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C. 20500. Bill Yost

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