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NIH BILL: SENATE OVERRIDES VETO OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH

Executive Summary

NIH BILL: SENATE OVERRIDES VETO OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH reauthorization bill (HR 2409) by a vote of 89-7. The Senate action, which occurred on Nov. 20, paves the way for the measure's adoption as law. The House, on Nov. 12, voted 380-32 to override President Reagan's Nov. 8 veto of the bill. A two-thirds majority is required in both houses of Congress to enact an override. HR 2409 establishes an arthritis institute and a nursing research center at the Natl. Institutes of Health. The president's veto message opposed the nursing center but endorsed the creation of an arthritis institute, albeit, under an administrative action by HHS. The administration's chief complaint with the bill has been over the detailed administrative and program requirements it places on NIH, including restrictions on fetal and animal research and new requirements for peer review. HR 2409 exerts "undue political control over decisions regarding scientific research, thus limiting the ability of the NIH to set this nation's biomedical research agenda," Reagan said in his veto statement. The president vetoed a nearly identical NIH reauthorization bill last year, but Congress did not muster the votes to override the decision. HR 2409 contains $2.4 bil. in biomedical research authorities for fiscal 1986, with slightly higher amounts approved for both fiscal 1987 and 1988.
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