Funding for MS Priorities Protected in Final Fiscal Year 2015 Budget
December 17, 2014
Over the past year, MS activists sent more than 19,000 emails and had more than 500 visits with congressional offices to urge them to fund MS research and programs and services important to people with MS and their families in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. On December 13th, Congress finalized funding levels for FY 2015 and the President signed the bill into law on December 16th . MS priorities fared will with slight increases or flat funding from the previous year, a win in a contentious budget cycle. Final funding included:
$30.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $150 million increase from FY14;
$5 million for the MS Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP);
$2.6 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a $37 million increase from FY14;
$2.36 million for the Lifespan Respite Care Program;
$11.81 billion for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) administrative budget, a $110 million increase from FY14.
Although the U.S. House of Representatives had supported doubling the MS Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) from $5 million to $10 million, the final legislation maintained the current year’s number and $5 million is in the final deal. Bipartisan and on-the-record House support of an increase for the MS CDMRP sets us up well for advocating for $10 million in FY 2016.
By passing the FY2015 budget, funding will be available to help further innovative research to stop disease progression, restore function and end MS forever. Additionally, programs that people with MS and the families rely on like lifespan respite care and Social Security disability remain available.