Research!America's board chair, former Congressman John Edward Porter, and president, Mary Woolley, thanked President Obama for prioritizing medical, health and scientific research in his FY2012 budget proposal.

The president's budget includes $31.829 billion for the National Institutes of Health ($745 million increase over 2010); $7.8 billion for the National Science Foundation ($1.2 billion increase over 2010); and $2.747 billion for the Food and Drug Administration ($382 million increase over 2010). The budget proposes $5.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention core programs, some $580 million below FY2010; however, the president's budget uses the Prevention and Public Health Fund and other sources to fill the gap, ending with slightly more than $7 billion for CDC's core programs. The budget proposed for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality calls for a $12 million decrease, to $390 million.

Porter said, "President Obama has made job creation and economic growth top priorities by making research and innovation top priorities in his budget. Smart, strategic expenditures for our nation's research agencies will help create quality, American jobs in knowledge-driven industries in every state. They will fuel the research pipeline from which private industry develops life-saving medicines, devices and procedures. They will keep Americans healthy longer, controlling health care costs and increasing productivity. And they will sustain the economic and scientific leadership that the U.S. has enjoyed for decades, but which now shows signs of slipping.

"Each dollar invested in research generates a superior return. That is why we now urge Congress to fund the NIH, CDC, FDA, National Science Foundation and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at levels that will allow our American science to continue to lead the world. Our health and economic future depend on it," Porter added.

Woolley said, "The president has been consistent about placing research and development at the heart of the national agenda, first in his call for making R&D 3% of the GDP, and more recently in the State of the Union address and now with this budget proposal. In a recent Research!America poll, 87% of Americans said it is important for the U.S. to achieve the goal adopted by other countries of spending 3% of GDP on research and development. We urge Congress to heed the public's call and work in a bipartisan fashion to make research to improve health a priority as they finalize the 2011 budget and begin work on 2012."

Research!America is the nation's largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations that represent the voices of 125 million Americans.