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(WASHINGTON, October 30, 2015) – Early this morning, the Senate passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a compromise between Congress and the White House that will provide relief from harmful sequestration cuts for the next two years. The American Society of Hematology, the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders, applauds the swift action taken by lawmakers in the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to raise the budget caps on funding for non-defense discretionary programs, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 eliminates approximately 90 percent of sequestration-related budget cuts for non-defense discretionary programs including NIH in fiscal year 2016, and about 60 percent in 2017. This additional funding will allow Congress to complete work on the fiscal year 2016 appropriations bills and reinvest in the biomedical research that creates jobs, saves lives, and reduces human suffering. Many of ASH’s more than 15,000 clinicians and scientists depend on NIH-funded hematology research to study blood cancers, bleeding and clotting disorders, anemia, and serious hereditary diseases such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia. As pioneers in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and gene therapy, hematologists are at the cutting edge of progress, and NIH funding is essential to continuing this life-saving research.
While the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 would reverse most of the devastating sequestration cuts to biomedical research and other public health programs, funding for these programs remains well below historical levels. As Congress continues efforts to pass a fiscal year 2016 budget before the continuing resolution expires on December 11, ASH urges lawmakers to work across the aisle to allow for sustainable increases in biomedical research and public health.