Over the years, ASSE has been an active member of Friends of NIOSH, an informal gathering of organizations that support NIOSH’s overall funding. While ASSE has long-standing concerns over the balance between safety and health funding at NIOSH, the Society's perspective is that less funding for NIOSH in general will ultimately mean less funding for safety, no matter the balance.
NIOSH funding of safety is significant, including substantial mining and injury prevention research and greatly increased efforts in transportation and prevention through design. The Socirety's long-term goal is to continue to work with NIOSH, its Education and Research Centers (ERCs) and other stakeholders to build the NIOSH safety resources employers need needed to meet the demand for highly trained safety professionals and safety research.
Following is a June 27, 2017, update from Katie of the firm Weyforth Vanlandingham/Van Scoyoc Associates, the lobbying firm hired by the ERCs to support NIOSH's budget:
The Friends of NIOSH hosted a conference call last week. Below are some summary bullets and actions items discussed.
- The proposed FY18 budget includes a $135.2 million cut to NIOSH and eliminates all extramural programs, including the ERCs, AFF and TWH programs, as well as $32 million in cuts to intramural programs.
- We are operating under the assumption that at least a House Labor HHS bill may be marked up before the August recess.
- Expect another increase for NIH in the FY18 Labor HHS bill, which will result in cuts to other programs.
- Even if the cuts to NIOSH are not as severe as proposed, NIOSH’s budget could be shaved. As you know, NIOSH was cut from FY16 to FY17 ($339.121 million to $335.2 million), and we do not want to continue this trend.
- It is important that Republicans are alerted to the importance of NIOSH.
- Contact members of Congress and ask them to weigh in with the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittees in support of funding for NIOSH in the FY18 House and Senate Labor HHS appropriations bills.
- Letters/weigh in from the business community in support of NIOSH is very important.
- Feel free to share this link with anyone who would like to contact their members of Congress in support of NIOSH funding. This letter is housed on AIHA’s website, but it is public so anyone can use this link to send letters. The goal is to blanket the Hill with letters seeking support for NIOSH.
- Hill meetings are encouraged, especially with members of the Appropriations Committee and members who have an ERC, Ag Center or TWH Center in their state/district.
- I will be reopening/repackaging the Friends of NIOSH letter that was sent to the House and Senate Labor HHS subcommittees prior to the arrival of the proposed budget.
ASSE has signed the Friends of NIOSH Letter. A markup of the appropriations bill is scheduled for the Thursday, July 13th.Your voice is needed now. To join in this effort, contact your federal representatives. A personal communication to them is best.