Appropriations Bill Passes
Despite Senators' concerns regarding a wide range of issues contained in the $820 billion omnibus appropriations package (HR 2673), the vote on Jan. 22 was sufficient to end any debate and move to a final Senate vote (65-28) to send the measure to the President for signing. The appropriations bill provides $139 billion to the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, of which NCI would receive $4,770,519,000.
NIH Conflict of Interest Hearing
On Jan. 22, 2004, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education held a hearing on the conflict of interest issue related to National Institutes of Health (NIH) employees accepting compensation from private companies. Senators at the hearing expressed that NIH should re-examine its policies regarding employees entering collaborative agreements with private industry. NIH Director Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni testified. Also, NCI's Dr. Jeffrey Schlom, chief of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, responded to the concerns of the committee and was in agreement with the other members of the panel from NIH that public disclosure of financial records was appropriate for high level scientists.