While JDRF plays a significant role in the effort to cure, treat, and prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D), investment in research from the federal government is essential to meeting these core objectives. JDRF continues to monitor and advocate for strong federal funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These agencies maintain significant influence on the advancement of core diabetes research and therapies.
Federal investment in research is determined by annual funding for federal agencies, known as ‘appropriations,’ through a series of negotiations between the President and the Congress.
Over the past year, the term ‘sequestration,’ which refers to across the board cuts in federal spending, has been discussed in the context of an effort to control federal spending and address deficit reduction. It was approved by Congress in the Budget Control Act (BCA) during the summer of 2011 after a ‘Super Committee’ of Members were not able to agree on at least $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over a 10-year period, by January 1, 2013. Under the BCA, NIH and the FDA, along would the SDP, would see cuts.
In response to possible cuts, Congress delayed sequestration until March 1, 2013 as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. That legislation, known as the fiscal cliff agreement, included a one-year renewal of the SDP through September 2014.
Starting on March 1, 2013, sequestration went into effect impacting FY 2013 budgets, including:
In December 2013, House and Senate Budget leaders came up with a budget deal known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that set spending targets for FY 2014 and FY 2015 and restored some sequester cuts. For FY 2014, this would mean a rollback of about half the cuts, split between non-defense (like the NIH and the FDA) and defense. Rollbacks for FY 2015 are about 75 percent of the spending reduction required under sequestration.
In January 2014, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (Omnibus):
JDRF continues to monitor developments on budget sequestration and participates as part of several broad coalitions to support the highest funding levels possible for the NIH and the FDA. In particular, JDRF serves as a member of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, a coalition of over 500 patient and health advocacy organizations and research institutions, which advocates for increased funding for the NIH. JDRF is also part of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, which unites a broad group of patient groups, consumer advocates, biomedical research advocates, health professionals, and industry to increase appropriations for the FDA. JDRF will also continue to advocate for the advancement of T1D research, treatments, and therapies at these agencies.
The President’s budget is the formal start of the budget process. Because of the late action on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that set overall spending targets for FY 2014 and FY 2015, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, which funded the NIH and the FDA for FY 2014, Obama’s FY 2015 budget was released on March 4. When it is delayed, other budget decisions for the next fiscal year, which starts on October 1, are delayed as well. The President’s FY 2015 budget includes:
Typically, after a budget has been proposed, the House and Senate devise budget resolutions to set spending targets for the appropriations process. Because the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 set overall spending targets for FY 2015, it is possible that the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will use those targets and start moving appropriations legislation with discretionary spending levels for federal agencies like NIH and the FDA before the beginning of the fiscal year, October 1, 2014.