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House Committee Proposes $1.1B Increase in NIH Funding for Fiscal 2018

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The US House of Representatives appropriations committee released a draft funding bill yesterday evening for fiscal 2018 that includes a 3 percent boost to the National Institutes of Health's budget, with specific increases for Alzheimer's disease research, precision medicine, and cancer research initiatives.

The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) has proposed $35.2 billion in funding for the NIH in the coming fiscal year — $1.1 billion over its fiscal 2017 enacted levels and $8.6 billion more than President Donald Trump requested earlier this year.

Included in the House committee's proposal is a $400 million increase in Alzheimer's disease research funding to $1.8 billion; a $76 million increase in funding for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies —  or BRAIN — initiative to $336 million; and an $80 million increase in funding to $400 million for the All of Us research initiative, which was formerly known as the Precision Medicine Initiative.

The House committee has also requested $300 million for the Cancer Moonshot program; $10 million for regenerative medicine research; and $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller Kids First pediatric cancer research initiative.

The Department of Health and Human Services, however, would see an overall $542 million decrease in funding to $77.6 billion under the House's draft bill, although this would still be $14.5 billion above President Trump's budget request. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would see a $198 million reduction in funding to $7 billion in FY 2018 under the proposed House bill, although this would be $1 billion more than the President has requested.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, meanwhile, would receive $3.5 billion — $219 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $137 million below the fiscal year 2018 request.

"The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill again achieves its goal of reducing discretionary spending, while remaining committed to important national priorities," LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) said in a statement. "For a third consecutive year, it allocates a significant funding increase of $1.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health, which will benefit a wide range of biomedical programs, including public health preparedness and readiness in biodefense, and research programs to find cures spanning from cancer to Alzheimer's."