Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was today joined by 11 other Members of Congress from California in writing Dr. Harold Varmus, Director of the National Institutes of Health, to request a substantial increase in funding for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). The letter requests a $20 million boost in NINR funding, to a total of $90.1 million.
"Nurses are a critical, but too often underappreciated, link in the chain of good health care," Pelosi said. "Nursing research translates discoveries in the lab into better and more cost effective health care -- and improved health outcomes."
Pelosi originated the letter and was joined by Rep. George Brown, Jr., Rep. Gary Condit, Rep. Julian Dixon, Rep. Anna Eshoo, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Tom Lantos, Rep. George Miller, Rep. Grace Napolitano, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Henry Waxman, and Rep. Lynn Woolsey.
NINR received $70 million in funding for fiscal year 1999, making it the most malnourished of our health institutes, with a funding base less than a third that of the next smallest funded institute at the National Institutes of Health. In his fiscal year 2000 budget, President Clinton has requested $72 million for NINR.
The letter sent by Rep. Pelosi and others notes that, "NINR's small funding base limits its ability to fund the research and training of scientists at the level of its fellow institutes. NINR can fund only one in five approved applications, compared with the NIH average of one in three."
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