House Committee Approves Legislation Supporting Sleep Community Priorities

Advocacy Update

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) advanced a key bill that would provide important funding for sleep research and education projects in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.

The bill includes a total of $41.1 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $2 billion over FY 2019. Of specific interest to our community, the Committee published a recommendation on “Sleep Disorders” here stating:

The Committee commends the recent expansion and advancement of the sleep and circadian research portfolio under the coordination of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR). The Committee encourages dedicated research activities on specific sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome, to ensure scientific progress benefits patients impacted by debilitating conditions disordering their sleep and biological rhythms.

Language like this has been a driving force behind the recent funding expansion of the sleep and circadian research portfolio at NIH. With additional congressional focus on individual sleep disorders, we should expect to see meaningful investment in specific sleep conditions moving forward.

The bill also includes a total of $8.3 billion for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an increase of $921 million over FY 2019. Importantly, the legislation set aside $3 million for “Chronic Disease Education and Awareness,” as a new program that would award grants to address chronic diseases and their risk factors. This new program could help to fund critical sleep education and awareness initiatives.

Your Advocacy Made This Possible

Sleep advocates across the country played a key role in ensuring that the priorities of the sleep community were heard and considered during this appropriations process this spring. Project Sleep and the Sleep Research Society (SRS) are so grateful to each individual who took action and reached out to their representative this spring to share their story and why sleep research and awareness are important to them. Special thanks to Congressman Adam Schiff for championing this cause and the remarkable bipartisan 30 additional members of the House of Representatives who co-signed the important sleep letter that was sent to the Appropriation Committee.

The 31 Representatives Sleep Letter Co-Signers

Next Steps

This bill will go the full House of Representatives for consideration soon. The Senate Appropriations Committee will put together their own version of the LHHS appropriations bill as well, and once the full House and full Senate have approved versions of the LHHS bill, they will bring together a conference committee to reconcile differences and draw up a final version for passage. We will continue working to ensure the final bill has the highest possible funding levels for research and public health programs focused on sleep conditions.

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