Lipinski Successful in Effort to Reduce Regulations and Improve University Research Opportunities

Provisions based on Congressman Dan Lipinski’s (IL-3) legislation, the University Regulation Streamlining and Harmonization Act, HR 5583, have been included in the broader health research and funding bill, the 21st Century Cures Act.  Lipinski’s bill, developed on recommendations from a National Academies report, would reduce the time and resources spent by researchers and universities in complying with excessive, duplicative, and inefficient federal regulations.

“The federal government plays a leading role in funding research that keeps our nation on the forefront of science,” Rep. Lipinski stated.  “Unfortunately, this funding comes with some unnecessary regulatory burdens.  As a political science grad student and professor, I had my own experiences with federal research regulations, and now as a member of the Science Committee, I hear from former colleagues and leading researchers across the country about the excessive regulations, reporting, and monitoring they must deal with.  While some of this is important to oversee the use of taxpayer dollars, increasingly these requirements take up an inordinate amount of researchers’ time that could otherwise be devoted to cutting-edge research.”

The 21st Century Cures Act, which the House is expected to consider this week, includes language parallel to Lipinski’s bill establishing the Research Policy Board, a new advisory board at the Office of Management and Budget comprised of 10 Federal members and up to 12 representatives of academic research institutions, and other private, non-profit research groups.  This advisory board will provide information on the effects of regulations on federal research requirements, including analysis of regulations and policy; identifying adverse consequences of policies and recommendations to improve them; conducting ongoing assessments of regulatory burdens, establishing metrics to measure them, and identifying process and policy improvements.  The board must submit a report containing its initial formal recommendations within two years of enactment.  The 21st Century CURES Act also includes language to prevent redundant grant monitoring and reporting, similar to Lipinski’s bill.

“I’m pleased that this important Research Policy Board language has been included in the CURES Act,” said Lipinski.  “This legislation will lead to more resources for finding treatments for cancer and other deadly and life-altering diseases, and I’m glad to support its progress through Congress.  Reducing researchers’ regulatory burdens while also increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health and other health research will be a win-win for the research community.”

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