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Starting With Bit of a Raise

A draft spending bill would increase the US National Institutes of Health budget by 13 percent for fiscal year 2021, Science reports.

As Science notes, lawmakers in the House of Representatives are beginning to put together their spending packages for fiscal year 2021. According to the Appropriations Committee, the draft bill would provide $47 billion in funding for NIH, $5.5 billion more than its 2020 funding level. This amount, the committee notes, includes $42 billion in annual appropriations and $5 billion in emergency appropriations. Science adds biomedical research lobbyists have called for $31 billion in funding for NIH to help it and the wider biomedical research grapple with the pandemic.

"A $5.5 billion increase for NIH is a really good way to start out the appropriations season," Jennifer Zeitzer, public affairs director for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, tells Science.

It adds, however, that the National Science Foundation would see a smaller funding boost of 3.1 percent under the draft bill.