On July 14, the House Appropriations Committee advanced its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 defense appropriations bill, which provides $10 million in annual funding for the Military Burn Research Program. This would not have possible without the advocacy efforts of ABA members, who were instrumental in convincing 79 House members to sign on to a letter requesting continued appropriations for this essential program.
The House is expected to pass its spending bills before the end of the month. While Senate has yet to begin its work on FY 2021 appropriations, 19 Senators have already signed on to a letter in support of $10 million in continued appropriations for peer-reviewed burn research. However, given the limited amount of time on the congressional calendar, competing priorities such as a next coronavirus relief bill, and the upcoming general election on November 3, Congress is unlikely to finish all of its work on FY 2021 appropriations before the end of the current Fiscal Year on September 30. Instead, Congress is likely to table final decisions on FY 2021 spending until after the election and keep the government funded through stopgap spending bills in the interim. This will ensure the Military Burn Research Program continues to receive funding at current levels. Once negotiations on FY 2021 spending resume, we will continue to work with lawmakers to ensure $10 million is provided for peer-reviewed burn research in the final defense appropriations bill.