publication date: Sep. 8, 2017

Another doubling in progress for NIH? Senate appropriators slate $2 billion for NIH in FY18

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

The Senate Appropriations Committee Sept. 7 marked up its version of the fiscal 2018 Labor-HHS spending bill, giving NIH an increase of $2 billion over the current year.

The bill was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support, with a 29-2 vote, and will advance to the White House as soon as the House passes similar legislation. If signed into law, the measure would bring NIH’s budget to $36.1 billion, marking the third year in a row that NIH has received a $2 billion increase.

Advocates for biomedical research say the momentum is reminiscent of the push that doubled the NIH budget in the early 2000s—and showcases Congress’s commitment to funding the nation’s biomedical research enterprise in vehement repudiation of President Donald Trump’s FY18 proposal to slash NIH funding by 21 percent.

“If NIH receives another $2 billion increase in FY 2018 it would mean that in the three years that Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) have chaired their respective subcommittees, NIH’s budget will have increased by a total of 20 percent,” said Jon Retzlaff, chief policy officer and vice president of science policy and government affairs at the American Association for Cancer Research. “In the decade prior, stagnant funding levels had resulted in NIH losing more than 20 percent of its ability (in terms of its purchasing power) to support the lifesaving grants that the agency supports.”

The Senate measure contains $164.1 billion in base discretionary funding. Including discretionary funding offset by savings from mandatory programs changes, the bill represents approximately $800 million less in total discretionary funding than FY17. The bill is $3 billion above FY17 levels and … Continue reading Another doubling in progress for NIH? Senate appropriators slate $2 billion for NIH in FY18

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