President Biden Submits Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request; Moderate Increase for NIH, NEI Flat-Funded

On March 9, President Biden formally submitted his Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Budget to Congress. For FY2024, the budget proposes $48.265 billion for  the National Institutes of Health (NIH) base,  an increase of $811 million, or 1.7%, over FY2023 funding levels.  The National Eye Institute (NEI) would be funded at $896.55 million,  the same level as in FY2023. Most of the individual NIH Institutes were flat funded, with limited exceptions.

In addition, the proposal would fund  the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) at a level of $2.5 billion, an increase of $1 billion, or 66.7%, over FY2023. The budget also requests a supplement to NIH’s base budget with $2.7 billion in mandatory funding for pandemic preparedness, and proposes to extend mandatory funding for the 21st Century Cures Act Cancer Moonshot initiative with $1.45 billion in each FY2025 and FY2026.

Release of the President’s budget was about one month later than required by law, largely due to the delay in finalizing FY2023 appropriations, which was only concluded in late December with the signing of a FY2023 Omnibus spending bill.

The President’s budget request to Congress is not a formal part of the congressional spending process, but rather serves as a guideline to Congress as to the White House’s spending priorities. The House and Senate Budget Committees will kick off the Congressional spending process by releasing their respective budget plans and drafting the Committee allocations to each chamber’s Appropriations committees, which will then begin drafting their respective bills. As is often stated, “The President proposes, the Congress disposes,” meaning that the Congress—especially the Committees that deal with appropriations—will have the final say on the FY2024 budget.

For FY2024 NAEVR has called to fund the NIH at a level of $50.924 billion, an increase of $3.5 billion or 7.3%. For the NEI, NAEVR asks Congress to appropriate $975 million, an increase of $79 million, or 9%.

You can read the FY2024 NEI Congressional Justification here.