Congressional appropriators have begun deciding how federal budget resources will be spent in the year ahead, including making decisions about funding for research and prevention programs. It can be a long and confusing process, and we wanted to give you a sense of how things will unfold.
In mid-July, a House of Representatives subcommittee approved their version of the bill that sets funding levels for many of the programs important to the American Heart Association. A comparable Senate subcommittee and the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved their version of the funding bill last week. The full House Appropriations Committee has yet to take action. Eventually, Members from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will be assigned to a conference committee to work out any differences between their two bills. That final negotiated bill will have to be approved by the full House and Senate before it can be sent onto the President for his signature.
It is expected that this process will not be completed until late 2010 or even early 2011, but there will be opportunities for you to continue taking action to help secure the highest funding levels for heart disease and stroke research, prevention and treatment programs. Though many of the proposed funding levels have not been made public, we do know that thanks to your help, the House Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Appropriations Committee each approved $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health, which supports heart and stroke research. This is lower than the amount we requested, but in this challenging fiscal environment, it’s a step in the right direction. When the need arises to remind lawmakers that fighting heart disease and stroke must be a priority, you can expect to hear from You’re the Cure!