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Senate Deal Would Boost NIH Budget by $2B Over Two Years

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A bipartisan budget agreement released by Senate leaders on Wednesday would raise the budget of the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion over the next two years.

The long-term spending deal comes amid efforts by lawmakers to avoid another government shutdown, and includes lifting the national debt limit through March 1, 2019, along with "structural reforms to Medicare" and boosts to defense funding.

Late last year, the Senate appropriations committee proposed an increase in NIH funding in fiscal 2018 by $2 billion to $36.1 billion, while a House of Representatives committee had called for a $1.1 billion increase. Notably, the White House had proposed slashing the NIH's fiscal 2018 budget by $6 billion.

The current version of the two-year budget agreement calls for an additional $25 million in 2018 to fund participation of health centers in the All of Us Research program and $50 million for the NIH in fiscal 2018 for response, recovery, and other expenses related to hurricane disaster relief.

A final budget agreement still needs to be passed by both the House and Senate.