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Legislative Update October 2008

Appropriations

  • The Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 110-329)
  • Supplemental Appropriations Act to provide additional funds to support ongoing military operations and some domestic programs (Public Law 110-252)

Public Laws Relating to the Activities or Structure of NIH and Other HHS Components

  • The Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-392)
  • The Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act (Public Law 110-374)

Bills Relating to the Activities or Structure of NIH and Other HHS Components

  • The Tom Lantos Pulmonary Hypertension Research and Education Act of 2008 (H.R. 6568)
  • The Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 6567)
  • The Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Act of 2008 (S. 3408)

Resolutions

  • National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month (H.C.R. 393)
  • National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month (H.Res. 1439)

Appropriations

On September 30, 2008, the President signed H.R. 2638 the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329), a continuing resolution that will fund most of the government until March 6, 2009.  The continuing resolution would provide funding for the NIH at the same rate and under the same terms and conditions as P.L. 110-161, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, which does not include the supplemental funding provided to NIH in the amount of $150 million by P.L. 110-252 (see below).

On June 30, the President signed into law H.R. 2642 (P.L. 110-252), a Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provided additional funds for the 2008 fiscal year to support ongoing military operations as well as some domestic programs.  The supplemental appropriation included $150 million for the NIH.

Public Laws Relating to the Activities or Structure of NIH and Other HHS Components

The Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Act of 2008
Numbers:Public Law 110-392 (formerly H.R. 1532)
Date Signed:October 13, 2008
Highlights:The law amends the Public Health Service Act with respect to making progress toward eliminating tuberculosis.  NIH provisions of interest would authorize the Director of NIH to expand, intensify and coordinate tuberculosis research and development in the institutes and centers.
The Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act
Number:Public Law 110-374 (formerly S. 1810)
Date Signed:October 8, 2008
Highlights:The Act increases the provision of information and support services to patients receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome or other prenatally or postnatally diagnosed conditions, and authorizes the Secretary, acting through the Directors of NIH or CDC, or the Administrator of HRSA, to award grants or contracts to coordinate the provision of evidence-based information regarding such services.
Bills Relating to the Activities or Structure of NIH and Other HHS Components
The Tom Lantos Pulmonary Hypertension Research and Education Act of 2008
Number:H.R. 6568
Sponsor:Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Latest Action:Received in the Senate, after passage in the House
Highlights:The legislation includes a sense-of-the-Congress provision that the Secretary should encourage the NIH and the NHLBI to “continue aggressive work on pulmonary hypertension” and that the NHLBI “should continue research to expand the understanding of the causes of, and to find a cure for, pulmonary hypertension.”  The bill also contains numerous reporting requirements, including a requirement that the Secretary include information about the status of NIH pulmonary hypertension research in the NIH biennial report.  H.R. 6568 was passed by the House of Representatives on September 25, 2008.
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act
Numbers:H.R. 6567
Sponsor:Representative Brian Baird (D-WA)
Highlights:The legislation would encourage the NHLBI Director to expand, intensify, and coordinate Institute activities with respect to pulmonary fibrosis (PF) research.  It also would require that a national summit be held every three years to provide a detailed overview of current PF research activities at the NIH and to discuss potential collaborations related to PF among the NIH, the CDC, and other Federal agencies.
The Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Act of 2008
Number:S. 3408
Sponsor:Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)
Highlights:The bill would establish a nonprofit corporation called the Health Care Comparative Effectiveness Research Institute to contract with appropriate Federal agencies or the private sector to conduct comparative effectiveness research.  The Institute would be responsible for (1) establishing and carrying out a research project agenda, (2) establishing a methodology committee to develop scientifically based methodological standards for comparative clinical effectiveness research, and (3) ensuring that there is a process for peer-review of the research [the Institute would be authorized to use existing peer-review processes used by entities with which the Institute contracts].  Provisions would also establish a Board of Governors comprising 21 members, including the Secretary of HHS, the Director of AHRQ, and the Director of NIH, to oversee the Institute’s activities.  The legislation would create the Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund in the U.S. Treasury.  Funding for the Institute would sunset after 10 years.
Resolutions
A concurrent resolution supporting the goals and ideals of “National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month”
Number:H.C.R. 393
Sponsor:Representative Chip Pickering (R-MS)
Latest Action:Passed House (September 25)
A concurrent resolution expressing support for designation of the month of September 2009 as “National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month” and supporting efforts to educate the public about atrial fibrillation
Number:H.Res. 1439
Sponsor:Representative C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
Latest Action:House Committee on Energy and Commerce

 
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