House and Senate Appropriators Reject President Trump’s NIH Funding, Policy, and Management Proposals in FY2019 LHHS Spending Bills

House and Senate Appropriators Reject President Trump’s NIH Funding, Policy, and Management Proposals in FY2019 LHHS Spending Bills

Legislative Update
June 28, 2018

In their respective Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) spending bills, House and Senate appropriators rejected President Trump’s budget proposals that cut funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and implemented policy and structural changes. Below NAEVR summarizes the President’s proposal and respective House and Senate actions.

NIH funding:

Trump budget: $35.5 billion (below the enacted FY2018 funding level)
House: $38.3 billion (a 3.3 percent increase over enacted FY2018)
Senate: $39.1 billion (a 5.4 percent increase over enacted FY2018)

Note that all contain the $711 million in funding for special initiatives, per the 21st Century Cures Act.

NEI funding:

Trump budget: $711 million (below the enacted FY2016 funding level)
House: $781.5 million (a 1.2 percent increase over enacted FY2018)
Senate: $ 796.9 million (a 3.2 percent increase over enacted FY2018)

Reduced Reimbursement for Facilities & Administrative (indirect) costs in NIH grants:

Trump budget: Unlike the President’s FY2018 request, the FY2019 request did not propose to reduce reimbursement for Facilities and Administrative (indirect) costs in NIH grants.
House and Senate: silent on the issue, since no changes were proposed by the President.

Extramural Salary Cap:

Trump budget: The budget proposes two initiatives that limit payments for investigator salaries: cap the percentage of investigator salary that can be paid with grant funds to 90 percent of total salary, and reduce the limit for the Extramural Salary Cap from Executive Level (EL) II ($187,000) to EL V ($152,000)—each expressed as FY2017 levels since the President’s budget issued before FY2018 was finalized.
House: No change, but “requests an analysis of the projected impact of such a policy change on the number and average cost of NIH grants, as well as on academic institutions, in the FY2020 Congressional Justification.”
Senate: Maintains the Extramural Salary Cap at EL II ($189,600 in FY2018).

NIH Structural Changes:

Trump Budget: Would move funding and management for three existing agencies into NIH, including:

  • the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from DHHS as a new NIH institute named the National Institute for Research on Safety and Quality, as proposed in the President’s FY2018 budget);
  • the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, currently administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC; and
  • the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, currently administered by the Administration for Community Living within DHHS.
House: Rejected the move, but flat funds all three agencies at the FY2018 level.
Senate: Rejected the move, AHRQ is flat-funded at the FY2018 level while NIOSH and NIDILRR receive modest increases.