$1.4 Trillion Spending Package Signed Into Law By President Trump Sees Bipartisan Results

Funding Increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Down Syndrome Research Lauded by Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Photo by Marleen Van den Neste

Press Contacts:
Rejena Carmichaelrcarmichael@globaldownsyndrome.org | C: (240) 603-5494
Anca Callacall@globaldownsyndrome.org | C: (720) 320-3832

December 22, 2019, Denver, CO– On Friday, President Trump signed a $1.4 trillion spending package that will fund the government until September 2020 and averted a government shutdown. Earlier in the week, the package passed the House and Senate with victories and compromises on both sides of the aisle.

“Finally, we have secured the funds and resources for our military — our national security,” said Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee who also heads the appropriations subcommittee on defense. “This package includes a significant increase in defense funding and the largest pay raise in a decade for our men and women in uniform.”

Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee Nita Lowey was also pleased with the results, “I am particularly proud that House Democrats prevailed in securing historic investments For the People, including record funding levels for Head Start and lifesaving medical research at NIH, and in funding priorities vital to our shared security, like gun violence prevention research and election security grants to states.”

Included in the spending package was legislation providing a 7% increase or $2.6 billion more funding to the NIH for an annualized budget of $41.7 billion. Legislation also highlights a “minimum” of $60 million for Down syndrome research in FY2020 through NIH’s Investigation of Co-occurring Conditions Across the Lifespan to Understand Down Syndrome (INCLUDE) trans-NIH project. This would bring total Down syndrome research funding up to $98 million for the year.

Michelle Sie Whitten, President & CEO of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, issued the following statement:

“Global thanks the Administration, our champions in Congress, and leadership at NIH who made Down syndrome research and medical care a priority resulting in the NIH INCLUDE project. It is important to note that this result reflects a decade of hard work and two decades of inequity in funding for our Down syndrome community.

The key turning point was the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Down syndrome research in October 2017. At the hearing, testimony from Global Ambassador, Frank Stephens, received a standing ovation, 100% bipartisan support, and over 150 million views on C-Span and other outlets.

This first ever hearing of its kind and testimonies were made possible by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, and Ranking Member Tom Cole with further support from Senators Roy Blunt, Patty Murray, and so many others from both sides of the aisle.

The FY2020 budget for NIH and Down syndrome research signals a clear message that the longevity and improved health outcomes of people with Down syndrome is important, and that their unique disease experience can also benefit others without Down syndrome. Global is proud and incredibly grateful to have worked with the Administration, NIH, and Congress to secure the funding for this research.”

The INCLUDE project focuses on diseases and conditions like Alzheimer’s, blood cancers, and autoimmune disorders that have a higher prevalence among individuals with an extra copy of chromosome 21 as well as conditions like solid tumor cancers that are rare among individuals with Down syndrome. The INCLUDE Steering Committee is chaired by Dr. Lawrence Tabak, NIH Principal Deputy Director in partnership with Dr. Diana Bianchi, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and Dr. Gary Gibbons, Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) as co-chairs.

To learn more about the NIH INCLUDE project, visit https://www.nih.gov/include-project/include-project-research-plan#leadership

To learn more about the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, visit https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/linda-crnic-institute

To learn more about the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, visit www.globaldownsyndrome.org

About Global Down Syndrome Foundation

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is at the forefront of Research, Medical Care, Education, and Advocacy dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome. Global supports the research of hundreds of scientists around the world through their advocates, partners and affiliates, including the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Rocky Mountain Alzheimer’s Disease Center, the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome, and a new pilot Adult Clinic. Global invites its supporters to celebrate over a decade of milestones in helping people with Down syndrome at their Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show. To learn more, please visit www.globaldownsyndrome.org and www.bebeautifulbeyourself.org.

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