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House Subcommittee Passes LHHS Services Appropriations with Big Cuts and Legislative Riders
The Fiscal Year 2024 House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill was marked up by the Appropriations Subcommittee on July 14. As reported previously, the House bill includes significant cuts for NIH ($3.8 billion), CDC ($1.6 billion), and other programs.

In addition to funding cuts and program eliminations within the Department of Health and Human Services, the bill also includes several new policy riders. The policy riders prohibit, limit, or restrict specific types of research: reproductive health; gender-affirming care; and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Several riders included in the House bill may be of interest to ATS members:

  • Maintains the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which prohibits the creation or destruction of human embryos for research purposes.
  • Prohibits the NIH from using human fetal tissue obtained from an elective abortion to be used in federally funded research.
  • Prohibits all federal funds for gender affirming care.

The full Appropriations Committee has not yet marked up the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill. The House Subcommittee bill must next pass the full Appropriations Committee and then the House.

The ATS has already commented on the appropriateness of fetal tissues research, under strict NIH guidelines. In 2020, ATS member and current chair of the ATS Research Advocacy Committee, Tom Mariani, PhD, submitted testimony before the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board, urging the Board to “…use discretion and refrain from imposing any restrictions upon the use of human fetal tissues in research studies. Any restrictions, perhaps in the realm of rare and extraordinary cases, are best considered at the local and regional level, using the Institutional Review Board process that continues to be fully functional.”

Last Reviewed: September 2023