On Thursday, June 30, the House Appropriations Committee considered its version of the Fiscal Year 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill, which funds several agencies important to the Population Association of America and Association of Population Centers, including the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Health Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Institute of Education Sciences.

In a report accompanying the bill, the Committee included language praising population research activities supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Eunice Kennedy Shiver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The language acknowledges programs and surveys both Institutes are funding and asks the agencies to inform the Committee of their plans for supporting population research in Fiscal Year 2023. The report language was sponsored by the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). PAA officials who participated in the 2022 PAA Virtual Advocacy Day also spoke with numerous congressional offices about the significance of the report language and encouraged its adoption.

“Congressional support of NIH-funded population research promotes greater awareness of and builds support for the essential surveys and center and grant programs that sustain the population sciences,” said Dr. Vida Maralani, Chair, PAA/APC Government and Public Affairs Committee.

National Institute on Aging

Population Research.—The Committee recognizes NIA for supporting a robust population aging research portfolio within its Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR) and encouraging enhanced collaborations between DBSR and the Institute’s other scientific research divisions. The Committee is pleased to learn these collaborations include, for example, integrating the population sciences into the Institute’s geroscience research agenda and initiatives regarding Alzheimer’s disease and the long-term social, behavioral, and economic consequences of COVID–19 on older people and their families. Continued support for large-scale, longitudinal, and representative studies, such as Health and Retirement Study and the National Health and Aging Trends Study, the Centers on the Demography and Economics of Aging, research networks, training grants, and early career opportunities are needed to sustain and enhance the field of population aging research. The Committee asks NIA to report on its plans for ensuring long-term investment and support for population aging research activities within 90 days of enactment of this Act.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Population Research.—The Committee congratulates NICHD for leading efforts to promote research regarding the effects of COVID– 19 on child development and health disparities. The Committee encourages NICHD to sustain these research priorities through its support of the Population Dynamics Research Centers Program and population-representative longitudinal datasets, such as the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, Baby’s First Years, Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Supplement Survey, and National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The Committee urges NICHD to engage the population research field to develop informed frameworks for conceptualizing and measuring social determinants of health, including structural racism. The Committee also encourages NICHD to support research exploring the direct and indirect effects of COVID–19 on reproductive health, marriage, and divorce and to expand research and data collection on mortality, especially during adolescence and the transition to adulthood. Within 90 days of enactment of this Act, the Committee requests a report on the Institute’s efforts to address these priority areas.

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