HomeWashington Letter2020 ▶ House Appropriations Committee Approves 13 Percent NIH Funding Increase in 2021
House Appropriations Committee Approves 13 Percent NIH Funding Increase in 2021

This week, the full House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), approved the fiscal year (FY) 2021 health spending bill, which proposes a funding increase of about 13 percent for the NIH, on a party-line vote of 30 – 22. Specifically, the bill provides $47.5 billion in total funding for the NIH in FY2021, a $5.5 billion increase over FY2020 NIH funding of $41.5 billion, to include the following:

  • $2.5 billion to offset research costs related to reductions in laboratory productivity resulting from interruptions or shutdowns of research during the COVID pandemic (this is a clarification from last week’s Washington Letter, which reported that $5 billion is proposed for research infrastructure)
  • A 7 percent funding increase to each institute and center;
  • $240 million for flu vaccine research, a $40 million increase over FY2020.

For the CDC, the House FY2021 health spending bill proposes $8 billion, an increase of $232 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, and additionally:

  • A proposed $9 billion in emergency funding to improve the nation's preparedness for public health emergencies. The emergency funds would include:
    • $4 billion for enhanced public health prevention efforts, including a flu vaccination public campaign;
    • $2 billion for state and local public health emergency response;
    • $240 million for CDC’s Office on smoking and Health, an increase of $10 million above the FY 2020 enacted level;

The FY2021 House health spending bill also proposed a new $5 billion Public Health Emergency Fund in the office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Please see the July 10 Washington Letter for a full report on the House proposed FY2021 CDC and public health funding.

House leadership announced that the House intends to hold full House floor votes on FY2021 spending bills during the weeks of July 20 and 27, with the expectation that the health spending bill will be considered the second week. We expect that due to the impending election, progress on the 2021 spending bills will be halted and Congress will need to pass temporary spending measures to fund government programs into the next fiscal year. We are cautiously optimistic, however, that when the 2021 health spending is finalized, the NIH and the CDC will receive funding increases. We encourage ATS members to contact their senators by July 24 to urge them to support increased NIH and CDC funding.

Last Reviewed: July 2020