publication date: Feb. 9, 2018

Congress passes two-year budget deal, paving the way toward giving NIH a $2 billion raise

By Paul Goldberg

So, the federal government shut down while America slept, but it reopened after a five-and-a-half hour pause, by early morning Feb. 9. We’ve seen this dance before.

However, in a move that is anything but yawn-inducing, Congress passed a budget deal that paves the way toward giving NIH a $2 billion raise and lifts the spending caps on defense and non-defense spending through March 2019.

The deal, which President Trump had signed into law, will fund federal agencies through March 23, giving Congressional appropriators the breathing room to put together a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

The brief shutdown was triggered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who sought to delay the vote on the continuing resolution. Paul objected to deficit spending allowed in the measure. The bill ultimately passed 71 to 28 in the Senate and 240 to 186 in the Senate.

This stopgap spending bill is significant because Republican-controlled Congress, in—yes—a bipartisan manner, has overruled an effort by the Trump White House to slash the NIH budget by 21 percent (The Cancer Letter, March 17, 2017; April 7, 2017; May 26, 2017).

Under President proposal, indirect costs would have been capped at 10 percent, a level that would have crippled research at academic institutions (The Cancer Letter, March 2, 2017).

The proposal energized the NIH supporters on both sides of the aisle, and instead of the cut, Congressional bills ended up giving NIH a $2 billion increase (The Cancer Letter, June 23, 2017; March 17, 2017; May 5, 2017). The indirect costs provision didn’t make it into the bill.

The White House … Continue reading Congress passes two-year budget deal, paving the way toward giving NIH a $2 billion raise

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