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Huizenga Introduces GRANT Act to Increase Transparency, Accountability at NIH

Today, Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI) announced the introduction of the Grant Reform and NIH Transparency (GRANT) Act. The GRANT Act requires the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish and maintain a Database of Denials for each research proposal that is denied a grant or other award

Nearly 83% of NIH’s $48 billion budget goes to fund research through its grant program. This is the same NIH program that provided funding for the EcoHealth Alliance to partner with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China to study bat coronaviruses.

Additionally, the GRANT Act requires the creation of a mechanism to share NIH’s internal grant-making information with independent, outside researchers to increase transparency and hold bureaucrats accountable for their decision-making.

“This legislation will increase transparency and bring much needed light to the National Institutes of Health Grant Program,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga. “The GRANT Act will provide researchers as well as taxpayers the ability to see not only what research the National Institutes of Health is funding but also the rationale behind denying requests for funding.

“This reform driven legislation will also make the grant process at NIH more competitive resulting in a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Institutions should continue to innovate and compete to earn federal grants. Americans deserve to have their taxpayer dollars used to develop the most impactful and cutting-edge advancements possible. The GRANT Act will restore oversight, foster innovation, and increase accountability at NIH.”

“As the very first watchdog organization to expose how U.S. taxpayers funded the Wuhan lab, we applaud and endorse Congressman Huizenga’s common-sense GRANT Act,” said Anthony Bellotti, President and Founder of the White Coat Waste Project. “For too long, the National Institutes of Health has lacked transparency, accountability, and oversight. NIH’s wasteful spending on gain-of-function bat and animal tests almost certainly caused COVID-19. Taxpayers have a right to know who’s paying the bills…and who’s cashing the checks. Now, thanks to Congressman Huizenga’s new GRANT Act, we’re one step closer to exactly that.”

The legislative text of the GRANT Act is available here.

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