Biden Administration Releases FY2022 Discretionary Funding Request with a $9 Billion NIH Increase

On April 9, the Biden Administration launched its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 discretionary budget request, which includes a 16 percent increase for non-defense discretionary spending and a 23.5 percent increase in funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This summary did not include specific funding levels for programs and only outlined top-line numbers for federal agencies. It also only included discretionary spending, so does not include details on mandatory funding.

The DHHS section contains the heading Promotes Biomedical Research and Establishes the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) under which the discretionary request includes $51 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $9 billion increase over the 2021 enacted level, to continue to support research that enhances health, lengthens life, and reduces illness and disability. Included in this increase is $6.5 billion to establish ARPA-H. With an initial focus on cancer and other diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s, this major investment in federal research and development would drive transformational innovation in health research and speed application and implementation of health breakthroughs.

In the transmission letter to Appropriations Committee leadership, Acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young writes after initially stating that the nation has significantly underinvested in core public services, benefits, and protections that:

“The President believes now is the time to begin reversing this trend—and the expiration of nearly a decade of budget caps presents a unique opportunity to do so. As the Congress embarks on this year’s appropriations process, the Administration is outlining its discretionary funding request for FY 2022—a package of proposals to help build on efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and improve the public health infrastructure; create an economy that works for everyone; mount a historic, whole-of-Government-approach to combating climate change; advance equity across the Nation and economy; and restore America’s standing around the world.”

NAEVR supports the statement issued by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, of which it is a member, that:  

  • Enthusiastically applauds President Biden for proposing $51 billion in funding for medical research supported by the NIH as part of his FY2022 proposal.
  • Expresses an interest in learning more about the proposal once the White House submits its detailed Budget next month, especially the proposed ARPA-H initiative to accelerate the implementation of research findings.
  • Urges support for emergency resources for science agency (including NIH) research recovery as outlined in the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act, introduced in the 117th Congress in both the House (H.R. 869) and Senate (S. 289), to “build back” the nation’s strong and diverse research workforce infrastructure and to continue to invest in broad and new research areas that will provide better health for patients in the future.