House of Representatives Passes Six Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Bills, Includes Funding for National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute

On July 31, the House of Representatives approved a Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations ‘minibus’ bill comprised of six individual spending bills: Labor Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS); Defense; Commerce-Justice-Science; Energy and Water; Financial Services; and Transportation-HUD spending bills, was approved by a vote of 217-197. Prior, on July 24, the House passed another minibus of four FY2021 spending bills: State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Interior and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs.

For the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the bill provides a total of $47 billion, an increase of $5.5 billion above the FY2020 enacted level. The bill provides $42 billion in annual appropriations, an increase of $500 million above the 2020 enacted level as well as $5 billion in emergency appropriations. For the National Eye Institute (NEI), the legislation provides $884.21 million, an increase of $7.09 million in annual appropriations and another $53.03 million in emergency funding (which can be used through FY2025).

The bill also includes funding for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Vison Research Program (VRP) at a level of $20 million, the same level at which it was funded in FY2019 and FY2020.

While the House has now acted on ten of the twelve individual appropriations bills that need to be passed before the start of the fiscal year on October 1, the Senate has not yet marked-up a single appropriations bill. This increases the likelihood that Congress will need to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund government operations with the start of FY2021.