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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
February, 1996

Congressional Affairs

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.


104th Congress
(Updated 01/16/96)


MemberBegan Service
Bill Bradley, D-N.J.1979
Hank Brown, R-Colo.1991
William S. Cohen, R-Maine1979
Jim Exon, D-Neb.1979
Mark O. Hatfield, R-Ore1967
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. [24]1977
Tom Bevill, D-Ala. [04]1967
Bill Brewster, D-Okla. [03]1991
William F. Clinger, R-Pa. [05]1979
Ronald D. Coleman, D-Texas [16]1983
Cardiss Collins, D-Ill. [07]1973
E. "Kika" de la Garza, D-Texas [15]1965
Jack Fields, R-Texas [08]1981
Pete Geren, D-Texas [12]1989
Steve Gunderson, R-Wis. [03]1981
Mel Hancock, R-Mo. [07]1989
Andrew Jacobs Jr., D-Ind. [10]1975
Harry A. Johnston, D-Fla. [19]1989
Blanche Lambert Lincoln, D-Ark. [01]1993
Jan Meyers, R-Kan. [03]1985
Kweisi Mfume, D-Md. [07]1987
"Sonny" Montgomery, D-Miss.[03]1967
Carlos J. Moorhead, R-Calif. [27]1973
John T. Myers, R-Ind. [07]1967
Pete Peterson, D-Fla. [02]1991
Patricia Schroeder, D-Colo. [01]1973
Gerry E. Studds, D-Mass. [10]1973
Ray Thornton, D-Ark. [02]1991
Barbara F. Vucanovich, R-Nev. [02]1983
Robert S. Walker, R-Pa. [16]1977
Pat Williams, D-Mont. [AL]1979
Charles Wilson, D-Texas [02]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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