HomeWashington Letter2015 ▶ 2016 Spending Bills Progress; NIH Funding Increases Proposed
2016 Spending Bills Progress; NIH Funding Increases Proposed

June 2015

Congress is moving forward with 2016 spending bills. The House and Senate Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittees passed the 2016 health spending bills that fund NIH and CDC this week on party-line votes. Although both bills provide funding increases for the NIH, the bills cut over $3.5 billion from the health, education and labor funding areas overall, resulting in large funding cuts and some program eliminations, including complete elimination of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The Senate health spending bill proposes a $2 billion funding increase for the NIH over FY2015 while the House bill proposes a $1.1 billion increase. The Senate and House bills differ significantly on CDC funding, with the Senate proposing an over $200 million, or 2.5% cut to the agency.

The House and Senate FY2016 health spending bill include:

  • House proposal to eliminate AHRQ, which funds health services research and healthcare quality programs.
  • House proposal to cut $110 million or over 50 percent from CDC's tobacco program, elimination of the Tips from Former Smokers program.
  • Both bills propose to eliminate funding for CDC's climate change and health public health program.
  • Both bills propose flat-funding for CDC's domestic TB program at the FY2015 level.
  • House proposal to increase funding for CDC's asthma program by $2.4 million or 9% increase for a total funding level of $30 million, while the Senate bill proposes flat-funding with the FY2015 level.

The final outcome of the FY2016 health spending bill is unclear as Democrats in both chambers are opposing them and calling for a new overall budget agreement to lift budget sequestration funding caps that are still in place. The Administration has issued a veto threat for the House bill and may also do so with the Senate bill. Finalization of 2016 health spending is remains months away.


Last Reviewed: October 2017