Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
The End of the First Session
The first session of the 104th Congress ended on Wednesday, January 3. The second session began immediately thereafter. The first session was the 2nd longest in history. Among the business not finished during the first session are 6 FY 96 appropriations bills, including H.R. 2127, the Labor/HHS appropriations bill. Only 7 appropriations bills have been signed into law.
Continuing Resolution for the NIH and Other Funding
On January 6, the President signed H.R. 1358 which funded several targeted programs through September 30, 1996. One of these programs was the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH was funded at the level set under the House-passed version of H.R. 2127, the Labor/HHS appropriations bill. H.R. 1358 allows FY 1996 funding of $11.9 billion for NIH, a 5.7 percent increase over FY 1995.
As reported by WASHINGTON FAX, in their January 10, 1996 issue of Life Science:
- Funding for NIH and CDC was secured outside of their regular appropriations bill through the advocacy of Representative John Porter (R-IL), who chairs the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L/HHS) subcommittee.
- In a floor speech during debate on the CR Friday evening, Porter spoke out on behalf of the basic biomedical research conducted under the auspices of NIH and in support of the 5.7% funding increase over FY 95....
- Porter called to mind the "academic and research institutions all across the country" supported by NIH and reminded House members that "the basic research can only be done by government, because there is no immediate profit motive involved." He also pointed out that the U.S. biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, which provide high-tech, well-paying jobs, depend on basic research that comes out of NIH.
- Porter did not submit a budget plan for NIH. Instead, said a member of the House Appropriations staff, dollar amounts for individual NIH Institutes and divisions remain to be worked out, as well as the method for funding NIH's Office of AIDS Research (OAR). The method for providing AIDS research funds to NIH institutes differs greatly in the House and Senate versions of the FY 96 appropriations bill, with the House combining AIDS research funds into each institute's funding total and the Senate providing a lump sum of $1.39 billion for OAR.
Congressional and Staff Changes/Departures
By January 16th, a record 13 Senators had announced that they will not seek another term in 1996. (The previous record was 12 Senators in 1896.) They include Senator Nancy Kassebaum, R-KS, chair of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, and Senator Mark Hatfield, R-OR, who chairs the Senate Appropriations committee. Kassebaum's committee is gearing up for NIH reauthorization hearings, with the first round currently scheduled for March 6 and 7.
In addition to the departing Senators, numerous House lawmakers have said they will not seek reelection. Included among them is Representative Bob Walker, R-PA, who chairs the House Science Committee.
Michael Stephens, longtime aide to the House Labor/HHS appropriations subcommittee has left his position to become vice president of the Washington consulting firm of Van Scoyoc Associates.
|Bill Bradley, D-N.J.||1979 |
|Hank Brown, R-Colo.||1991 |
|William S. Cohen, R-Maine||1979|
|Jim Exon, D-Neb.||1979 |
|Mark O. Hatfield, R-Ore||1967 |
|Howell Heflin, D-Ala.||1979 |
|J. Bennett Johnston, D-La.||1973 |
|Nancy Landon Kassebaum, R-Kan.||1979 |
|Sam Nunn, D-Ga.||1973 |
|Claiborne Pell, D-R.I.||1961 |
|David Pryor, D-Ark.||1979 |
|Paul Simon, D-Ill.||1985 |
|Alan K. Simpson, R-Wyo.||1979|
|Anthony C. Beilenson, D-Calif. ||1977 |
|Tom Bevill, D-Ala. ||1967 |
|Bill Brewster, D-Okla. ||1991 |
|William F. Clinger, R-Pa. ||1979 |
|Ronald D. Coleman, D-Texas ||1983 |
|Cardiss Collins, D-Ill. ||1973 |
|E. "Kika" de la Garza, D-Texas ||1965 |
|Jack Fields, R-Texas ||1981 |
|Pete Geren, D-Texas ||1989 |
|Steve Gunderson, R-Wis. ||1981 |
|Mel Hancock, R-Mo. ||1989 |
|Andrew Jacobs Jr., D-Ind. ||1975 |
|Harry A. Johnston, D-Fla. ||1989 |
|Blanche Lambert Lincoln, D-Ark. ||1993 |
|Jan Meyers, R-Kan. ||1985 |
|Kweisi Mfume, D-Md. ||1987 |
|"Sonny" Montgomery, D-Miss.||1967 |
|Carlos J. Moorhead, R-Calif. ||1973 |
|John T. Myers, R-Ind. ||1967 |
|Pete Peterson, D-Fla. ||1991 |
|Patricia Schroeder, D-Colo. ||1973 |
|Gerry E. Studds, D-Mass. ||1973 |
|Ray Thornton, D-Ark. ||1991 |
|Barbara F. Vucanovich, R-Nev. ||1983 |
|Robert S. Walker, R-Pa. ||1977 |
|Pat Williams, D-Mont. [AL]||1979 |
|Charles Wilson, D-Texas ||1973 |
Bills of Interest
H.R. 4, welfare reform passed both Houses, but was vetoed by the President. While the House passed version of the bill had included a provision which would have provided for the authorization, but not the appropriation of funding for NIDA's medication development activities through savings from the Supplemental Security Income program, the final bill did not include such a provision.
Conference action on H.R. 2020, the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government Appropriations Act, 1996 was completed on October 25, and was signed into law on November 19 becoming Public Law 104-52. The ONDCP will receive $8 million for FY 96.
S. 790, the Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 1995 -This measure has been cleared for the President. S. 790 would eliminate or modify over 200 statutorily-mandated reporting requirements for Federal agencies, and four years after enactment, would eliminate all annual, semi-annual, or regular periodic statutorily-mandated reporting requirements. Members of Congress would be authorized to reauthorize those reports deemed necessary. Reports required by the Inspector General Act of 1978 or the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 would be exempt. This measure became Public Law 104-66, signed by the President on December 21, 1995.
H.R. 2196, the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 -On December 12, the House passed H.R. 2196 by voice vote. The bill would amend the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 with respect to inventions made under cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs). Provisions of the legislation address the assignment of intellectual property rights to a collaborating party. Current law provides little guidance on what intellectual property rights a collaborating partner should receive from a CRADA.
H.R. 1271, the Family Privacy Protection Act, will likely be considered by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in late February or early March.
Other Items of Interest
Army General Barry R. McCaffrey has been asked to serve as the new ONDCP Director. General McCaffrey, one of the most highly decorated living generals who currently runs the military's Southern Command in Panama, will become the 4th Director after William J. Bennett, Bob Martinez and Lee P. Brown, who left ONDCP in January for a position at Rice University.
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