HomeWashington Letter2016 ▶ House Panel Approves Health Spending Bill with NIH Funding
House Panel Approves Health Spending Bill with NIH Funding

July 2016

This week, the House Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Cole (R-OK), passed its 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, over $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 and Precision Medicine Initiatives 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 than the approximately $600 million that would be distributed to institutes under the Senate bill.

During the subcommittee vote, Rep. Cole stated that the subcommittee's funding level for the NIH should be viewed as a "floor," not a ceiling and he said he was hopeful that the funding for NIH would increase further during the process.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fares better in the House bill, and is slated for a $605 million funding increase over 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 percent funding reduction from $210 million to $100 million.  This cut would likely eliminate the TIPS from Former Smokers media campaign. Rep. DeLauro (D-CT), ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, offered an amendment that would have restored funding for the tobacco program and other programs cut in the bill, but it was defeated on a party line vote. The Senate health spending bill provides for level funding ($210 million) of OSH.

The next step for the House FY2017 health spending bill is consideration by the full House Appropriations Committee, expected sometime next week. Although the House and Senate FY2017 health spending bills are making it through committee votes, their final outcome in an election year remains unclear.  So, while we cannot say at this point what level of a funding increase the NIH will receive for 2017, there is now good bipartisan agreement that there will be a funding increase for NIH that applies across all institutes.

Last Reviewed: October 2017