Senate Appropriations Committee Approves New Funding Bill for NIH and Opioid Crisis

On September 7, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved the 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill, which increases funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and supports ongoing programs to combat the opioid crisis.

The bill contains $164.1 billion in base discretionary funding for the departments, an increase of $3 billion over fiscal year 2017 – and $27.5 billion over President Trump’s budget request. However, “including discretionary funding offset by savings from mandatory programs changes, the bill represents approximately $800 million less in total discretionary funding than fiscal year 2017,” according to a press release from the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

The new funding bill includes a $2 billion increase for NIH, with boosts to the following programs and initiatives:

  • $1.8 billion to Alzheimer’s disease research
  • $400 million to the BRAIN Initiative to map the human brain
  • $344.3 million to the Institutional Development Award program for biomedical research
  • $290 million to the All of US precision medicine study
  • $80 million to the National Cancer Institute’s precision medicine program
  • $513 million to the Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria program
  • $533.1 million to the Clinical and Translational Science Award program
  • $12.6 million for Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act for pediatric research

The budget also allotted $816 million – a $665 million, or 440 percent, increase over fiscal year 2016 – to help combat the opioid epidemic  through programs provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Source: U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations press release, September 7, 2017.