On April 4, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced Promoting Biomedical Research and Public Health for Patients Act (S.2742), bipartisan legislation that contains provisions that could change the regulatory environment for federally funded research. Based on its long-standing support for solutions that streamline regulatory burdens for investigators while maintaining proper oversight of federal research funds, FASEB is pleased that the Senate has taken interest in these issues.
In a letter to Senator Alexander and his co-sponsors, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), FASEB offered comments on several provisions of the legislation. Specifically, FASEB recommended that the proposed Research Policy Board explicitly include scientists with external, peer-reviewed research support in addition to “representatives from academic research institutions, other private, nonprofit research institutions, or other nonprofit organizations with relevant expertise” to ensure that the Board has a comprehensive perspective on existing and proposed regulations. FASEB also recommended that the Research Policy Board be chartered for a minimum of 10 years to provide ample time to fulfill its charge to conduct a thorough review of the regulatory and policy landscape and monitor implementation of any recommended changes. The Federation also suggested that the review and revision of regulations and policies pertaining to the care and use of laboratory animals be placed under the auspices of the proposed Research Policy Board.
In addition to providing feedback on existing provisions, FASEB encouraged the addition of language to address growing concerns about changes to the micro-purchase threshold established in the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR part 200). This recommendation was based on a position taken by FASEB earlier this year in a letter to leadership within the Office of Management and Budget.