November 16, 2005
On November 14, 2005, the Senate completed action and adopted the Conference Report on the fiscal year (FY) 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. This completes Congressional action on the bill and it will now be sent to President George W. Bush for his expected signature. There was no Member discussion on the Department of Energy (DOE) Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Medical Applications and Measurement Science (MAMS) program during the final floor consideration.
The net effect of the Conference action is to reduce MAMS program funding from $37 million in FY ’05 to $14 million in FY ’06. Most of the remaining $14 million is designated for DOE Office of Science BER activities other than basic nuclear medicine research. This reduction occurred at the same time Congress increased the total amount of earmarked local programs in this section of the bill from approximately $80 million to $130 million, and increased the overall funding level for BER by approximately $10 million to $586 million.
The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM), the American College of Nuclear Physicians (ACNP), and likeminded allies are committed to continuing the fight for basic nuclear medicine research. Although short-term options are extremely limited, SNM-ACNP will seek funding for MAMS research projects in other appropriations bills.
In the long term, SNM-ACNP will work with Congressional leaders to fully fund the program for FY2007 or, if necessary, find a new base for basic nuclear medicine research programs other than the DOE Office of Science, which has been the home of this research for over fifty years. However, this long-term measure will unfortunately not help most current MAMS researchers, who will have to cease operations in FY ’06, or find alternative sources of funding besides the United States’ government.