HomeWashington Letter2020 ▶ House of Representatives Passes 2021 Health Spending Bill Including 13% NIH Funding Increase
House of Representatives Passes 2021 Health Spending Bill Including 13% NIH Funding Increase

This week, the House of Representatives passed 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. 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% 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

The Senate’s work on FY2021 spending bills has stalled as the chamber focuses on trying to pass a COVID relief package before the August congressional recess. It is widely expected that Congress will need to pass temporary spending bills to fund government operations past September 30, 2020, when fiscal year 2020 expires.  Please see the July 10 Washington Letter for a full report on the House’s proposed FY2021 CDC and public health funding.


Last Reviewed: July 2020