Coalition of behavioral and social science organizations writes to House Appropriations Committee

Letter seeks to deflect potential negative amendments to FY 2015 Labor-HHS bill.

Concerned about the possibility that negative amendments defunding some grants or entire areas of research may be offered when the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor — Health and Human Services — Education marks up the fiscal year (FY) 2015 bill that funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Coalition for the Advancement of Health through Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (CAHT-BSSR) sent a letter (PDF, 83KB) to the House Appropriations Committee on June 16. Pat Kobor of the American Psychological Association’s Science Government Relations Office co-chairs the coalition with Angela Sharpe of the Consortium of Social Science Associations. 

The letter says in part, “The undersigned scientific and academic organizations encourage you to support and protect all sciences funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the markup of the Fiscal Year 2015 bill. In the past, the Subcommittee has adopted or allowed unfortunate amendments targeting some areas of supported NIH research, including health economics and other behavioral and social science research. Our combined membership strongly urges you to reject any such amendments this year. We also encourage the Subcommittee to continue its tradition of supporting the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research. 

“The underlying causes of diseases and disabilities are complex. Many factors, including genetic, social, biological, environmental, and behavioral, must be understood and unraveled to fully appreciate how these conditions occur and can be prevented and treated effectively across different populations. The social and behavioral sciences are instrumental to this progress, and researchers from economics, psychology, sociology, demography, social work, nursing and other disciplines have all made contributions that build our collective knowledge of the determinants of health and provide the foundation for future policy action.”

No date has yet been set for the House Appropriations Subcommittee to consider the Labor-HHS bill.