House Spending Bill Would Undermine Medical Research and Harm the Fight Against Cancer

November 13, 2023

Washington, D.C. – The House Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill is scheduled to be considered by the House Rules Committee today. The bill under consideration includes a $3.8 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including a $216 million cut to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and a $1 billion cut for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).

“Congress must finalize a budget that prioritizes cancer research and prevention. This bill is a far cry from that. We are concerned by the dangerous cuts present in this bill that would curtail impactful research and undoubtedly threaten future progress against cancer,” said Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “There is a clear relationship between investment in cancer research and the observed reduced mortality rates in the United States, dropping year over year since 1991. Now is not the time to slow momentum.”

The cuts in this bill would not only prevent future discovery for the cancers where there are not yet answers. It will also undermine the ability to leverage past investment to apply what we know works to prevent and detect cancer earlier, when it is less expensive to treat, and survival chances are greater.

“These cuts directly threaten to reverse decades of progress of scientific advancements that have brought us to a critical moment today where more lives are saved, more people are screened, and more people have a fighting chance to survive one of our nation’s leading diseases,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “We urge lawmakers to reverse these harmful cuts and to instead work in a bipartisan way to finalize FY24 spending bills that prioritize robust increases that protect the nation’s research foundation that has ignited lifesaving advancements for those touched by cancer and solidified our country’s status as an international leader in research.”

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