Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Update on Harkin-Specter Amendment

Last night the Senate approved an amendment (starts at page S. 1403 and go through S. 1406) to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (S. 1) that would increase the amount allocated to the National Institutes of Health from $3.5 billion to a total of $10 billion. The amendment follows-up on Senator Arlen Specter's [R-PA] promise to fight for an increase of $6.5 billion over the House total for the NIH.

Amendment 101 was introduced by Senator Specter and was itself amended by Senator Harkin's [D-IA] Amendment 178. If this seems confusing, it is (note the cartoon). Because the recovery package is at the forefront of everyone's mind, and funding for the NIH is of particular importance to researchers everywhere, I wanted to take a moment and make sure everyone knows where it stands. Things are moving quickly, so keep checking back with us- we'll do our very best to keep you posted!

We will be discussing the bill to law process in the context of the recovery act in the coming week, so let us know if you have questions!

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