House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Approves FY2019 Spending Bill that Includes $1.25 Billion NIH Increase, Less-than-inflation Increase for NEI


House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Approves FY2019 Spending Bill that Includes $1.25 Billion NIH Increase, Less-Than-Inflation
Increase for NEI

Legislative Update
June 15, 2018

Today, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee passed its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 spending bill in advance of the planned June 20 markup by the full House Appropriations Committee. In total, the bill includes $177.1 billion in discretionary funding, essentially the same as the FY2018 enacted level, and a total of $89.2 billion for HHS programs, an increase of $1 billion above the FY2018 enacted level and $2.4 billion above the President’s FY2019 budget request.

The bill funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $38.3 billion, an increase of $1.25 billion or 3.3 percent over the FY2018 enacted level of $37.08 billion and $4.1 billion over President Trump’s budget request. For the National Eye Institute (NEI), the draft provides $781.5 million, an increase of $9.2 million or 1.2 percent over FY2018 and $70.5 million above the President’s budget proposal of $711 million. A summary of funding for several critical research initiatives appears in the box below.

LHHS Subcommittee Chair Tom Cole (R-OK) commented that:

“Once again, the LHHS appropriations bill prioritizes and reflects the values that Americans truly care for. For the fourth consecutive year, the bill allocates increased funds for the NIH at $1.25 billion, for a total of $38.3 billion. These funds will greatly benefit numerous medical research programs, combat opioid abuse, and support the search for cures for many cancers and diseases.”

Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)—while praising the overall NIH increase—stressed that more than 20 of the NIH Institutes and Centers (I/Cs) will only receive a 1.2 percent increase, which is less than inflation. NAEVR, which submitted written testimony to the Subcommittee on April 26, echoed Cong. DeLauro’s comments in a statement issued after the markup, noting that despite recent funding increases the NEI still has reduced purchasing power that jeopardizes its ability to build upon the past investment in breakthrough sight-saving and vision-restoring research.

The bill provides increases for several critical research initiatives, including:

  • $2.25 billion, a $401 million increase, for Alzheimer’s disease research,
  • $400 million, a $100 million increase, for the Cancer Moonshot research initiative,
  • $429 million, a $29 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative,
  • $437 million, a $147 million increase, for the All of Us research initiative,
  • $130 million, an increase of $30 million, for research to develop a universal influenza vaccine,
  • $528 million, an increase of $15 million, for research on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria,
  • $366 million, an increase of $15 million, for Institutional Development Awards, and
  • $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” pediatric cancer research initiative.