CLINTON SIGNS SLIGHTLY INCREASED NIH BUDGET

Bert Gold bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu
Wed Jan 17 09:07:42 EST 1996


excerpts of an article by Robert Pear, The New York Times, Tuesday,
January 16, 1996, page A10:

HEALTH RESEARCH GETS A RAISE INSTEAD OF THREATENED TRIMS
      G.O.P. Listens To Biotehcnology Companies
By Robert Pear
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 - While cutting the budget for most other agencies,
Congress has given the National Institutes of Health an increase of 5.8
percent, after Republicans concluded that biomedical research was an engine
of economic growth.

A bill signed recently by President Clinton provides $ 11.94 billion for the
institutes in the current fiscal year, an increase of $ 655 million from
the $ 11.28 billion spent last year.

Although Congress has cut most of the President's budget requests, it
approved $ 175 million more than he requested for the N.I.H.   The
increase, in a bill signed by Mr. Clinton on Jan. 6, won stron support from
lawmakers of both parties, including Speaker Newt Gingrich.

[skipping to middle of article]

This is part of a Republican strategy of providing "targeted appropriations"
for programs they like while leaving others to fend for themselves.  
Representative John R. Kasich, an Ohio Republican who is chairman of
the House Budget Committee, said this tactic would "put some pressure
on the President" to accept Republican priorities.

[skipping to end of article]

{Biotechnology excecutives met with Mr. Gingerich in May to emphasize
the importance of their industry:  Attending the meeting were, my
former teachers, Ralph Bradshaw, formerly of Wash. U., now president
of FASEB and Joe Davie, formerly of Wash. U. and Searle, now V.P. for
Research at Biogen, and Thomas Urban of Pioneer Hi-Breed, Leon Rosenberg
of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Edward Penhoet of Chiron -- Bert}

{At that meeting} Republicans suggested to corporate supporters of the
N.I.H. that their companies could increase research spending to make
up for any Federal cutbacks.  But Dr. Davie said, "The amount of money
actually spent in the biotech industry in research rather than development
is miniscule compared with the amount of basic research supported by
the Government."

Bert Gold, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
School of Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
Program in Medical Genetics




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