HomeWashington Letter2016 ▶ House Panel Approves FY2017 Health Spending Bill
House Panel Approves FY2017 Health Spending Bill

July 2016

This week, the full House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2017 health research spending bill, known as the Labor-HHS bill. The bill includes an overall $1.250 billion funding increase for the NIH over the FY2016 level of $32.084 billion, for a total proposed FY2017 level of $33.300 billion. The House bill's funding for the NIH is lower than the Senate bill, approved in June, which provides a $2 billion funding increase for the NIH over the FY2016 level, more than $600 million of which will be distributed across all NIH institutes. Similar to the Senate's health spending bill, the House bill includes funding carve outs for Alzheimer's research, the BRAIN initiative and the Precision Medicine Initiative and the Institutional Development Award (IdEA). It is not yet clear how much of the $1.250 billion will be distributed across individual NIH institutes under the House bill, but with the overall lower funding level in the bill, the amount allocated to individual institutes will be lower. 

During the committee session, an amendment was offered by Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) that would have increased the House bill's funding for NIH to $2 billion, as included in the Senate bill. The amendment was defeated but Labor-HHS subcommittee chairman, Rep. Cole (R-OK), expressed support for "sustained" increases for NIH "over a long period of time."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fares better in the House bill, and is slated for a $605 million funding increase versus the FY2016 level of $7.233 billion, for a total FY2017 proposed funding level of $7.115 billion. We do not yet have details for all of the CDC programs that the ATS monitors, but we do know that the tobacco control program is slated for a 50% funding reduction, reducing the office's funding from $210 million to $100 million.  This cut would likely eliminate the TIPS from Former Smokers media campaign. The Senate health spending bill provides for level funding ($210 million) of OSH. CDC's tuberculosis program receives flat funding at the FY2016 level, in contrast to the Senate bill, which would cut program by $5 million.

Although the House and Senate FY2017 health spending bills have made it through committee votes, their final outcome in an election year remains unclear.  It is likely that an omnibus spending measure for FY2017 will be passed when Congress returns for a "lame duck" session following the election. While we cannot say at this point what level of funding increase the NIH will receive for 2017, there is now a bipartisan agreement that there will be a funding increase for NIH that applies across all institutes.

Last Reviewed: October 2017