Chair Rodgers Unveils Framework for NIH Reform, Requests Stakeholder Input

Effort to begin conversation to revamp the public health agency, restore public trust

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today unveiled a framework that lays out the current challenges facing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and contains recommendations for reform.

6.14.24 NIH Reform Report Cover.png

CLICK HERE to view the full framework.

In a joint opinion piece with House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Chair Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Chair Rodgers makes the case for why reform is needed and asks for stakeholders to engage thoughtfully in the effort:

Copy of 9.18.23 WSJ Graphic  (14).png

"Let us be clear: We support the NIH and the critical role it plays in serving Americans, furthering scientific discovery, and ensuring the U.S. remains the world's leading pioneer in basic science and biomedical research innovation. But historical support for what an agency should or could be cannot prevent us from seeking to build upon past lessons or correct areas that have fallen short.

"Our message to scientists, researchers, patient advocates, colleagues, and the American people is simple: Our door is open. Work with us. Be a partner. A deliberative, engaging process will lead to better outcomes for all. The framework being released today is just the start of a robust conversation, not a finished product.

"The U.S. became a world leader in biomedical innovation because Americans are resourceful, resilient, and entrepreneurial. Let us continue to build on that legacy and work to ensure the NIH continues to deliver on the promises of hope for those in need."

CLICK HERE to read the full opinion piece.

CLICK HERE for a one-pager on the framework. 

Stakeholders who wish to submit any feedback on the framework or provide additional thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for reform can do so by emailing by August 16, 2024.

6.14.24 Mpox Report cover page.png

The framework comes following the release of an interim staff report regarding the Committee’s ongoing investigation into a proposed MPXV project at the NIH, which uncovered a lack of oversight and transparency from the Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Ultimately, this investigation and interim report underscore the importance of restoring public trust in our government health agencies as well as Congress reasserting its Article I authority. Transparency and accountability are the most pressing remedies. 

It also comes amid the Committee’s ongoing investigation into sexual harassment at the NIH and at NIH grantee institutions. 


  • August 10, 2021: E&C Republican Leaders Question NIH’s Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints    
  • August 11, 2022: E&C Republican Leaders follow up with NIH on Insufficient Response to its Letter on the NIH’s handling of Sexual Harassment    
  • November 30, 2022: E&C Republicans to NIH: Turn Over Previously Requested Information Ahead of New Congress    
  • March 14, 2023: E&C Republicans Press NIH for Information on Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints    
  • October 6, 2023: E&C Republicans Signal Intent to Issue Subpoena to Obtain Information on NIH’s Handling of Sexual Harassment if Questions Go Unanswered    
  • January 26, 2024: Chair Rogers notifies NIH of Imminent Subpoena    
  • February 5, 2024: Chair Rodgers Subpoenas NIH for Documents Related to Investigation into Sexual Harassment at NIH and NIH Grantee Institutions   
  • February 20, 2024: HHS responds on behalf of NIH to offer a rolling in camera document review to the Committee. Documents produced in the review have been highly redacted, including the redaction of the names of individuals convicted of criminal offenses, public news articles about individuals who have been found guilty of harassment, and redaction of the names of the institutions where the abuse occurred—effectively preventing the Committee from understanding if NIH continues to fund work performed by substantiated abusers at other institutions—a practice known as “pass the harasser.”   
  • April 16, 2024: E&C Republicans Expand Investigation into Sexual Harassment at NIH to now Include Review of HHS Office of Civil Rights Compliance Role  
  • May 9, 2024: E&C Republicans ask Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to provide the Committee with the legal basis requiring HHS to redact or hide the names of researchers determined to have committed sexual misconduct. 
  • May 30, 2024: Evidence Uncovered by E&C Republicans Refutes Secretary Becerra’s Assertion that HHS Takes Action to Prevent Sexual Abusers from Receiving Taxpayer Funding