publication date: May. 5, 2017

Congress approves $2 billion increase for NIH in FY17 omnibus but FDA cancer center remains unfunded in legislative glitch

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

After seven months of continuing resolutions, Congress voted to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill covering the remainder of the fiscal year 2017—approving a $2 billion increase for NIH.

The increase may signal the congressional reluctance to implement President Donald Trump’s scaled down vision for NIH, which would cut its budget by $5.8 billion in FY18 (The Cancer Letter, March 17).

By passing the omnibus spending bill, Congress has avoided a government shutdown.

In a development that may have an impact on oncology, the House narrowly passed a bill that replaces “Obamacare.” The measure, which is criticized by the mainstream oncology groups, now moves to the Senate.

The Senate approved the spending bill by a 79-18 vote May 4, a day after it passed the House by a 309-119 vote. The president is expected to sign the legislation.

In keeping with promises by members of Congress in FY16, the spending package provides $34.1 billion for NIH, a $2 billion increase that includes $352 million provided in the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives. NCI is slated to receive $5.7 billion, an increase of $475.8 million. The Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot—one of the key initiatives in the Cures Act, is funded at $300 million in FY17.

“This marks the first time in more than a dozen years that Congress has provided the NIH with a back-to-back funding increase,” Daniel Hayes, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, said in statement. “This recommitment to scientific discovery will help the … Continue reading Congress approves $2 billion increase for NIH in FY17 omnibus but FDA cancer center remains unfunded in legislative glitch

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