Transfer to the Secretary for newly formed
*(% increase over FY 2000)
Bill Language - H.R. 4577 --- NIH
Conference Report Language - H. Report 106-1033 --- NIH
Conferees indicate that in implementing the agreement, the Department and agencies should comply with the language and instructions set forth in House Report 106-645 and Senate Report 106-293. However, with respect to provisions in the House and Senate reports that specifically allocate funds, those that are jointly concurred in have been included in this joint statement. The conferees direct DHHS to submit to the Committees on Appropriations operating plans for discretionary appropriations within 30 days of enactment.
NCRR: Conferees earmark $100 million for the IDeA grants as proposed by the House instead of $60 million as proposed by the Senate and endorse the use of the funds as identified in the House report.
NIAMS: Conferees encourage NIAMS to support loan repayment for researchers working in the areas of childhood rheumatic diseases.
AIDS Funding: The report indicates that the conferees understand that NIH expects to provide $2,266,987,000 in AIDS research funding.
Study of NIH Structure: Conferees concur with language in the Senate report instructing NIH to fund the NAS study of the structure of NIH. The study is to determine if the current structure and organization is optimally configured for scientific needs. The Committees expect to receive a report with recommendations one year from the date of confirmation of the new NIH Director.
Return on NIH Investments: The conferees drop language added by Representative Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) relating to drug pricing and add language directing NIH to prepare by July 2001 a listing of therapeutic drugs which are FDA approved, have reached $500 million per year in U.S. sales and have received NIH funding.
Autism: Conferees strongly urge NIH to implement an intensified research effort regarding autism consistent with the Children's Health Act of 2000. The NIH Director should report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations by March 1, 2001, on a plan for establishing the Centers of Excellence on Autism program authorized in the Act.
Plaza Designation: Conferees urge the Director of NIH to designate the plaza in front of the James Shannon building on the NIH campus as the Paul G. Rogers Plaza and to commemorate it in his honor.
Fetal Tissue Practices - GAO Study: The Conferees drop the Senate language requesting a GAO study into Federal fetal tissue practices.
Other Bills of Interest
Children's Health Act
H.R. 4365, the Children's Health Act of 2000, was signed into law by President Clinton on October 17, 2000 (PL 106-310). The bill covers the entire range of child-health-related topics, expanding research, creating new programs, and developing new initiatives at NIH for, among other areas, autism, juvenile arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, adoption awareness, oral health, and obesity. The Act also contains many provisions relating to substance abuse including reauthorization of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Included in this comprehensive bill is the "Drug Addiction Treatment Act" (DATA) which allows qualified physicians to prescribe certain anti-addiction medications in an office setting. HR 4365 also includes the "Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000," which amends Section 464N of the PHSA authorizing the Director of NIDA to "make grants or enter into cooperative agreements to expand the current and on-going interdisciplinary research and clinical trials with treatment centers of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network relating to methamphetamine abuse and addiction and other biomedical, behavioral, and social issues related to methamphetamine abuse and addiction." An authorization of appropriations of "such sums as may be necessary" is included. One provision requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Institute of Medicine, to conduct a study on the development of medications for the treatment of addiction to amphetamine and methamphetamine and report results to the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and House. Another bill swept into HR4365 is the "Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000," which, in part, encourages adequate funding for NIDA to accomplish the following: identify those most vulnerable to using ecstasy and develop science-based prevention approaches; understand how ecstasy produces its toxic effects and how to reverse neurotoxic damage; develop treatments, including new medications and behavioral treatment approaches; better understand the effects that ecstasy has on developing children and adolescents; and translate research findings into useful tools and ensure their effective dissemination.
Health Improvement Act
On November 13, 2000, President Clinton signed into law H.R. 2498, the Health Improvement Act (PL 106-505). Sponsored by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), the bill initially only included language that was to provide Federal buildings with emergency equipment to treat heart attack victims. However, the measure, also known as the "Minibus bill" came to include provisions from 9 other, separate House and Senate health bills. Three of the bills - HR 762, the Lupus Research Act; S. 1243, the Prostate Cancer Research Act; H.R. 4015, the Alzheimer's Clinical Research and Training Awards Act of 2000 - expanded the resources for clinical research in disease specific areas. Two of the bills rolled into H.R. 2498, S. 1813, the Clinical Research Enhancement Act; and S. 1268, the 21st Century Research Laboratories Act, increase broad support for clinical research efforts, particularly at NIH. H.R. 2498 also includes S. 2731, the Public Health Therapies Act, which will enhance the nation's capacity to address public health threats and emergencies, as well as S. 2625, the Organ Procurement Organization Certification Act. This section of H.R. 2498 will revise the performance standards and certification process for organ procurement organizations. In addition, the "Minibus" contains provisions on Sexually Transmitted Disease research and technical changes to the Children's Health Act of 2000.
Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Establishment Act
The Senate passed the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Establishment Act (HR1795) by unanimous consent on December 15, 2000 and cleared it for the President's signature. The bill had been passed in the House on September 27, 2000. The President signed the bill into law on December 29, 2000 (PL 106-580). The bill establishes a new institute at NIH to coordinate activities in this technology and provide funding equal to the amount obligated by NIH for biomedical imaging and bioengineering in FY 1999, adjusted for inflation. In establishing the Institute, the Director of NIH is authorized to transfer personnel, use appropriate facilities to house the new Institute, and obtain administrative support from other agencies of NIH. The Institute is expected to have a 12-member advisory council, and prepare a plan to address the consolidation and coordination of NIH biomedical imaging and engineering programs, as well as related activities of other federal agencies.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who sponsored similar legislation (S1110) said biomedical imaging and engineering allows breakthroughs at the molecular level and said the NIH has not invested enough in this area in recent years. The House Commerce Committee adopted an amendment to change the proposed name of the new institute, inserting "Bioengineering" in place of "Engineering". Earlier this year, NIH moved forward with plans to create an Office of Bioengineering, Bioimaging and Bioinformatics, OBBB, or OB3. However, this legislation will require a significant course change. The new office was established in April 2000 within the Office of the NIH Director, and rolled together the Bioengineering Consortium (BECON), which was established in 1997 to provide a focus for bioengineering activities and now includes bioimaging, and the Biomedical Science and Technology Initiative Consortium (BISTIC), created this Spring to further research in bioinformatics.
Small Business Reauthorization Act
On December 15, 2000, the House and Senate passed H.R. 5667, the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2000. The legislation reauthorizes and makes improvements to virtually all of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) programs, including the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. H.R. 5667 passed the Congress as part of the FY 2001 Omnibus Appropriations Act which was signed by the President December 21, 2000.
Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, Protection Act
On December 20, 2000, the President signed H.R. 3514, the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection Act, into law (P.L. 106-551), which requires NIH to enter into a contract with a nonprofit private entity for the purpose of operating a sanctuary system for the long-term care of chimpanzees.
Minority and Health Disparities Research and Education Act
Signed by the President on November 22, 2000, the legislation (P.L. 106-525) creates in statute a National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) at the NIH to coordinate health disparities research performed or supported by NIH; a grant program through the new NCMHD to further biomedical and behavioral research education and training; an endowment program to facilitate minority and other health disparities research at centers of excellence; and a loan repayment program to train members of minority or other health disparities populations as biomedical research professionals.
NIH authorizing and appropriations committees will see several changes in the 107th Congress. Representative John Edward Porter (R-IL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education of the House Committee on Appropriations, retired at the end of the 106th Congress. Representative Ralph Regula (R-OH) has been named by the full Committee Chairman, C.W. (Bill) Young (R-FL), to serve as the new Chairman of the Subcommittee. Representative Thomas Bliley (R-VA), Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, retired at the end of the 106th Congress. The Committee has been renamed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the new Chairman is Representative W.J. Tauzin (R-FL). Senator Arlen Spector (R-PA) will remain as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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