The American Heart Association has voiced support for a tentative budget deal that would restore about $63 billion in funding,  also known as sequester, for the National Institutes of Health.

The proposal was announced by lead negotiators — Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

“The proposed Ryan-Murray budget agreement takes a very positive step toward the finish line of a federal budget,” said American Heart Association President Mariell Jessup, M.D., on Wednesday. “The American Heart Association is hopeful that this deal will bring an end to the crippling partisan gridlock that has kept Congress virtually dysfunctional during the current session. We strongly recommend that both houses swiftly pass this proposal. If the budget deal is approved by Congress, then the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations must allocate the additional federal funding made available by the agreement. We urge the committee members to use these funds to replace the extremely harmful sequester cuts imposed on the NIH.  Every day that passes without this support moves us further away from new treatments and cures for two of the top killers of Americans – heart disease and stroke.”

Dr. Jessup added, “Medical research is vital to creating jobs and, more importantly, saving lives. We hope the budget committee members remember that when they move on to the next lap of this race – a critical one for the health of all Americans.”