NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Both houses of the US Congress yesterday passed budget resolution bills that set the funding levels for federal spending in the next fiscal year.
The $3.5 trillion budget for 2010 sets the spending parameters for the coming year, but does not detail direct spending amounts for specific agencies; those levels will be worked out over the coming months.
The House passed the budget resolution on a vote of 233 to 103, without any support from Republican representatives and 17 Democrats voting against it.
The Senate passed the funding plan by a vote of 53 to 43, with two Democrats voting against it.
The resolution also includes the possibility for additions to the fiscal 2009 funding levels.
In anticipation of discussions about funding for the National Institutes of Health, a group of 128 House members earlier this month sent a letter to the House leaders of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Services seeking an increase of at least seven percent in the 2010 appropriation for NIH.
In the letter, the congressman said that the recent $10.4 billion that NIH received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was "a very important step toward regaining the lost potential of the last several years.
"This investment will enable some of the most promising projects that have long been sidelined to begin; we must not halt this momentum by failing to adequately support the NIH baseline budget," the representatives argued.