DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2004CONTINUED
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF GENERAL MEDICAL SCIENCES CHARGE TO CONDUCT BASIC BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH
Mr. INOUYE. Will the chairman of the subcommittee yield for a question?
Mr. SPECTER. I will be pleased to yield for a question from the Senator from Hawaii.
Mr. INOUYE. First, I would like to compliment the chairman and the ranking member, Senator HARKIN, for their leadership in developing an excellent bill for consideration by the Senate. As a member of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee for many years I understand the challenge faced by the subcommittee each year in developing a bill that adequately funds all the outstanding programs in the jurisdiction of this subcommittee. The chairman and the ranking member have done an admirable job and they set a fine example of working in a bipartisan manner to meet the health, education and workforces priorities of the Nation. I would also compliment the dedicated staff who support this effort. We would not have such good bills for the Nation without their counsel and hard work.
Mr. Chairman, I come to the floor today to highlight one NIH-related matter that despite our best efforts remains largely unresolved. This year again the Committee's report urges the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to fund basic behavioral research. The Committee report states the following:
Behavioral Research.The Committee believes that NIGMS has a scientific mandate to support basic behavioral research because of the clear relevance of fundamental behavioral factors to a variety of diseases and health conditions. The
Committee encourages the NIGMS to incorporate basic behavioral research as part of its portfolio, especially in the areas of cognition, behavioral neuroscience, behavioral genetics, psychophysiology, methodology and evaluation, and experimental psychology.
This is excellent language. The Committee has had similar language in fiscal years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003, but little has yet been done to implement the Committee's recommendation.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Committee's NIGMS report language from fiscal years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 be printed in the RECORD at the conclusion of our remarks.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(See exhibit 1.)
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I also ask unanimous consent that the NIGMS statute, which states in Public Law that one of the purposes of NIGMS is to conduct and support behavioral research, be printed in the RECORD at the conclusion of our remarks.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection it is so ordered.
Mr. INOUYE. Would the chairman and ranking member join me in helping ensure that the NIH complies with the wishes of the subcommittee on this matter?
Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I thank my esteemed colleague, the Senator from Hawaii, for bringing this matter to our attention and I look forward to working with him and the NIH to resolve this matter. This subcommittee has successfully doubled the NIH budget over the last 5 years. Thus this speaks to this subcommittee's commitment to all types of scientific health research, including behavioral health.
Basic behavioral research is essential if we are to successfully address the many public health issues plaguing our Nation.
Since September 11, 2001, the psychological and physiological effects of terrorism and stress became real to all Americans across this great Nation. It is imperative that we, as a nation, better understand the psychological effects of sustained stress and the role of the behavioral health sciences in the prevention and treatment of the leading causes or morbidity and mortality. The leading causes of death and chronic illness are related to high risk behaviors such as: unintentional injuries and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and drug use, dietary behaviors, sexual behaviors, and inactivity. I am committed to working with you and Senator HARKIN to help ensure that NIH understands the wishes of this Subcommittee.