House Panel Wants to Increase NIH Budget

When President Donald Trump released his proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, the biomedical research community sharply criticized the substantial cuts to National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Now, a House panel has also responded to the proposed budget, calling for a $2 billion increase for the agency.

If the proposed spending bill were adopted, the NIH would receive a total of $41.1 billion in funding for fiscal year 2020. This represents a 5-percent raise over fiscal year 2019.

The increased funding would be applied to research on Alzheimer disease ($2.4 billion), the All of Us precision medicine study ($500 million), and a new 10-year Childhood Cancer Data Initiative ($50 million), among other projects. As with previous bills, this draft also rejects a request from the Trump administration to fold the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality into a new institute at the NIH.

The House Appropriations Committee’s bill also proposes allocating $50 million to study gun violence – $25 million to the NIH and $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This would be the first funding specifically allocated for gun violence research since 1996, when Congress passed legislation banning the CDC from advocating for gun control.

Sources: Science, April 29, 2019; Politico, April 29, 2019.

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