APA defends peer review during House budget debate
Proposed amendments would have cut funding to NIH and NSF
In February, as the House attempted to slash more than $60 billion from the Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations, more than 500 amendments were proposed by both sides of the aisle, most of them to cut additional federal spending. Six of those amendments were offered by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and would have cut funding from five National Institutes of Health grants and one National Science Foundation grant. APA and the Coalition to Promote Research responded by sending a letter to every House office urging a “no” vote on the Issa amendments and further explaining the importance of peer review and the public health impact of the research projects. With the clock ticking on the House debate, these amendments were withdrawn and fortunately were not part of the House-passed FY11 funding bill (H.R. 1), which now moves to the Senate. As President Obama has threatened to veto the measure, the House is working on another Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through March 31 to avoid a government shutdown. APA has begun meeting with new Senators to encourage their support for peer review and scientific integrity, as well as making funding for science a priority, even in the environment of budget cutting.