House LHHS Subcommittee Marks Up FY2020 Spending Bill with NIH/NEI Increases

House LHHS Subcommittee Marks Up FY2020 Spending Bill with
NIH/NEI Increases

Legislative Update
May 1, 2019

On April 30, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee approved by voice vote its draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 spending bill which includes:

  • $2 billion, or a 5.1 percent increase over FY2019, in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to a level of $41.08 billion, including the full $492 million in 21st Century Cures Act funding for special initiatives (BRAIN, Cancer Moonshot, Precision Medicine, and Regenerative Medicine).
  • $39 million, or a 5 percent increase over FY2019, in National Eye Institute (NEI) funding to a level of $835.5 million.

The Subcommittee did not consider any amendments, but its Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK) indicated that he and other members of the minority would file amendments during the full Appropriations Committee markup, scheduled for May 8.

At the markup, Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) thanked Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) for prioritizing the LHHS bill, noting that the draft bill incorporates, at least in part, more than 90 percent of the 15,000 requests submitted to the Subcommittee (including NAEVR's April 4 written testimony). She also highlighted the bill's $2 billion NIH increase for NIH, including the approximately 5 percent increase for each Institute and Center (I/C).

Ranking Member Cole congratulated Chairwoman DeLauro for drafting the bill so quickly and including requests from both sides of the aisle. Cong. Cole also praised the increase for NIH, acknowledging that it would reflect five straight years of bipartisan investment in medical research. At the same time, he noted that the overall bill includes provisions that he does not support and shared his concern that a 6 percent increase for the overall bill is unsustainable in that it is unlikely to be supported by the Senate or the Administration.

NAEVR has issued a statement commending the Subcommittee for its efforts to continue the exceptional commitment to funding the NIH as well as providing increases for the I/Cs that allow for biomedical inflation plus growth. NAEVR also recognized the need for Congress to raise the discretionary spending caps, which would facilitate these robust FY2020 increases.

At its May 8 markup, the Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the FY2020 LHHS spending bill, as well as to formally adopt the funding allocations for the bills developed by its 12 Subcommittees.