Legislative Updates

President Signs FY2017 Appropriations Bill

Legislative Update
May 5, 2017

Today, President Trump signed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill.

Senate Passes FY2017 Appropriations, Clearing Bill for White House

Legislative Update
May 4, 2017

Yesterday, the Senate passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill by a vote of 79-18, clearing the bill for the White House. President Trump is expected to sign the bill today.

House Passes FY2017 Appropriations, Bill Moves to Senate for Action

Legislative Update
May 3, 2017

Yesterday afternoon, the House of Representatives approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill by a vote of 309-118 in favor of the bill, with 15 Democrats and 103 Republicans opposing the legislation. The bill now goes to the Senate for action, with a vote expected today, clearing the bill for the White House. President Trump is expected to sign the bill, bringing a close to the FY2017 appropriations process and turning attention to FY2018 appropriations.

Congress Reaches Agreement on Final FY2017 Appropriations

Legislative Update
May 1, 2017

Late last evening, Congressional negotiators reached an agreement that would finalize Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations—seven months after the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2016.

The legislation, which is expected to be passed by Congress and signed by President Trump later this week before the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on Friday, funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at a level of $34.08 billion, an increase of $2 billion over FY2016.

For the National Eye Institute (NEI), the bill includes a funding level of $732.6 million, an increase of $16.7 million or 2.33 percent over the FY2016 enacted level of $715.9 million.

The $2 billion NIH increase includes $352 M for implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, which Congress passed last year, meaning that the NIH base grows by $1.648 billion. Within the $352 million for Cures funding, the bill provides $300 million for cancer research, $40 million for the Precision Medicine Initiative, $10 million for the BRAIN Initiative, and $2 million for regenerative medicine research. Vision researchers and those studying brain function through the visual route have done well in the first three cycles of BRAIN funding—a total of $63.4 million in awards.

In addition, the bill keeps the salary level for grants at Executive Level II, which for 2017 is $187,000.

The legislation also includes $15 million for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Vision Research Program (VRP), the first time the program is funded at that level after four fiscal years at $10 million each year. The VRP has finalized the FY2017 Program Announcement and will release it after the President signs the bill into law.