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House Passes “Octobus” FY2018 Funding Legislation that Combines Eight Remaining Appropriations Bills

Legislative Update
September 15, 2017

On September 14, the House of Representatives passed an omnibus Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriations bill by a vote of 211-198. This bill combines the eight remaining individual appropriations bills, including the bill which would fund the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prior to its August recess, the House passed four appropriations bills, including those funding the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Energy, as well as the Legislative Branch. Because the House was unable to pass the remaining eight bills individually in time for the start of FY2018 on October 1, it decided to combine them into one omnibus bill.

The House bill now goes to the Senate, which has not indicated if it will continue to work on its own FY2018 appropriations bills, or will take up the House bill. Because it is unlikely that the Senate will be able to act on its appropriations bills, last week Congress passed—and the President signed—a Continuing Resolution that funds the government through December 8.

For the NIH, the House bill includes a $1.1 billion increase over FY2017 and increases funding for the NEI by $11.3 million, while the Senate bill, which was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 7, increases funding for the NIH by $2 billion and the NEI by $26 million.