Congress Passes, President Signs, FY2023 Continuing Resolution

On September 30, shortly before the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, President Biden signed a FY2023 Continuing Resolution (CR) which keeps the government operating past the start of the new fiscal year on beginning October 1.  The House of Representatives had passed the CR earlier that day, following Senate action the previous evening.

The CR (HR 6833, the Continuing Appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023) extends government funding at FY2022 funding levels through December 16, 2022. The bill also provides supplemental support to the government of Ukraine in its war against Russia.

Passage of the CR was necessary because Congress was unable to approve any of the FY2023 appropriations bills before September 30th deadline. Congressional leaders have indicated that they intend to use the extension to mid December to finalize a package and are planning to return Washington after the November elections to finish work on all FY2023 spending bills.

The CR continues to fund the NIH at the FY2022 level of $44.96 billion and NEI at $863.9 million. NAEVR (with our partners) had requested an ambitious $49+ billion for NIH and $950 million for NEI. The House passed appropriations bill earlier this year included levels of $47.5 billion for NIH and $891.2 million for NEI. The Senate LHHS committee has not passed their bill, but this summer released their draft report which would include $48 billion for NIH and $890.7 million for NEI. One distinction between the House and Senate bills that were drafted is the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) program is funded under the HHS budget in the House bill, and is included in the Senate NIH budget.

The House bill included $2.75 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) within HHS, but outside of the NIH. Currently, the Administration has established ARPA-H within NIH but reporting to the Secretary of HHS. The funds in the House bill for ARPA-H would be available through FY2025 and represents a $1.75 billion increase over the FY2022 enacted level of $1 billion to initially establish ARPA-H which was included in the FY2022 omnibus. The Senate included a level of $1 billion for ARPA-H in their draft.

There is still a possibility for a year long CR which would have a significant negative impact on researchers and the ability for institutes like NEI to fund new and innovative research. Additionally, with current inflation concerns, a year long CR would effectively serve as a cut across the board by reducing the buying power of the institutes.

DOD funding for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs – vision research program was also included in the House bill at level funding of $20 million for FY2023.