President Signs FY2019 Defense/LHHS Minibus Bill with A Nearly $30 M Increase in Vision Research Funding
September 29, 2018
On September 28, President Trump signed the Conference Report for H.R. 6157, the minibus appropriations bill that combines the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) spending bills. The Senate passed the bill on September 18 by a vote of 93-7, and the House passed on September 26 by a vote of 361-61. The minibus spending bill includes:
- a $2 billion or 5.4 percent NIH increase to a funding level of $39.08 billion and a $24.2 million or 3.1 percent NEI increase to a funding level of $796.5 million.
- Department of Defense (DOD) Vision Research Program (VRP) funding at a record level of $20 million, or a $5 million increase from the prior funding level of $15 million in each FY2017 and FY2018.
With the $24.2 million NEI increase and the $5 million VRP increase, that means a nearly $30 million increase for vision research in FY2019.
H.R. 6157 includes a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on December 7 that funds the remaining government programs whose appropriations had not been finalized prior to the start of FY2019 on October 1. On September 21, the President signed the first of the FY2019 minibuses, H.R. 5895, which included the Energy-Water, Military Construction-Veterans Administration, and Legislative Branch spending bills. With the addition of the DOD and LHHS spending bills, that means that five of the twelve FY2019 spending bills have been finalized prior to the end of FY2018.
Congress plans on returning to Washington after the November elections to finish work on legislation to fund agencies currently operating under the CR.