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House Appropriations Committee Approves FY2018 LHHS Appropriations Bill, Details Include NEI Funding at $743.9 M

Legislative Update
July 19, 2017

Following up on the July 13 House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee approval of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 LHHS spending bill, today the House Appropriations Committee approved the bill.

In addition to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) being funded at $34.1 billion—a $1.1 billion increase ($943 million of which is an increase to the NIH base, or 2.8 percent)—the detailed bill shows the National Eye Institute (NEI) funded at $743.9 million, which is an $11.3 million or 1.5 percent increase over its enacted FY2017 level of $732.6 million. The Institutes and Centers (I/Cs) increase is essentially 1.5 percent across-the-board, except for those I/Cs managing special programs. So, similar to past years, despite a 2.8 percent overall increase in the NIH base, I/Cs are generally receive a lower across-the-board increase.

In its LHHS funding bill, the Senate has attempted and has often been successful in pushing for a larger NIH increase than in the House, with a concomitant larger across-the-board increase for the I/Cs.

Although NAEVR has issued a statement expressing appreciation for the House bill’s NIH funding increase, the vision community’s FY2018 funding request has been a $2 billion NIH increase and NEI funding of $800 million.