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House Committee Proposes 3 Percent Boost to NIH Funding

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — The US House of Representatives appropriations committee yesterday released a draft bill that would give a 3 percent boost in funding to the National Institutes of Health, increasing the agency's budget from roughly $37.1 billion to $38.3 billion in fiscal 2019.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump called for slashing the NIH's budget by 27 percent in the coming fiscal year, although the White House also urged Congress to allocate an additional $9.2 billion to the NIH under higher spending caps.

Included in the appropriation committee's NIH funding proposal is a $401 million increase in Alzheimer's disease research to $2.25 billion; a $100 million increase in funding for the Cancer Moonshot initiative to $400 million; a $29 million funding boost to $429 million for the BRAIN initiative; and a $147 million increase in funding for the All of Us initiative to $437 million.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, would see a $663 million reduction in its budget to $7.6 billion in fiscal 2019 under the proposed legislation, while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would have its budget cut by $168 million to $3.5 billion.

Additionally, the draft bill would eliminate funding for research involving human fetal tissue obtained via elective abortion. It also does not include the integration of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within the NIH — a move President Trump had requested in order to reduce duplication and leverage the expertise of both agencies.

A House subcommittee is slated to vote on the draft bill later today.