Senate Appropriation Activities (NSF, NIH) … and now House Activity

Update: Jocelyn Kaiser notes that the House appropriations committee draft bill for Labor, HHS, and Education gives the NIH a 3.3% increase (!!) over FY11 funding levels while maintaining funding for NCRR (including $100M boost in its IDeA program) and not incorporating NCATS or CAN (but allowing $2M in the OD to go toward planning). Stay tuned as the sausage continues to be made.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations has spoken on FY12 proposals for commerce & justice and science (including NSF) and labor, health & human services, and education (including NIH).

Last week, the Committee reduced the NSF’s appropriation by $162M (2.4% cut from FY11), which would reduce funding for NSF’s 6 research directorates by $120M, to $5.44B, and spending on education by $32M, to $829M. The Committee’s proposal gives the NSF the flexibility to move up to $100M from other pots into the facilities budget (maintained at $224M), which will likely happen to maintain progress on various NSF initiatives. The House bill would maintain NSF’s overall budget at 2011 levels but shrink the facilities account to $100M.

The NIH fared no better in Committee, which cut their appropriation by $190M to $30.5B. The Senate bill also provides for the creation of NCATS (including $20M for CAN), which the National Review opined amounts to Obama Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the elimination of NCRR. The House never got its act together on its corresponding appropriations bill. Could be worse. Could be raining.

Actually, while a cut of any size to the NIH budget is unprecedented, it could indeed be worse, given the current fiscal climate, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) makes a nice plug for research funding (especially the need for consistency and continuity) in The Hill, so the NIH does still have vocal advocates among the ranks. About now would be a good time to let your Congressional delegation know the importance of maintaining research funding levels – at least steady if the appropriation cannot be increased.

Neither the full House nor the Senate has voted on any appropriations bills, though the House just rejected the proposed CR, which would have funded the federal government through Nov 18th at 1.5% below FY11 levels. Once again, a federal shut-down looms. Could be worse. Could be …

Update: Boehner strong-armed conservatives into approving essentially the same CR, which the Senate rejected.

7 Comments »

  1. [A] cut of any size to the NIH budget is unprecedented[.]

    What the fugge are you talking about? The NIH budget was cut this fiscal year.

    • Robert said

      Come on CPP!. Writedit is referring to recent history, not to 2011. We are in an immensely troubling situation as a country and dragging with us the entire world!. Just a “small repercusion” of Chenei Bushie’s legacy.

    • writedit said

      FY11 was a giant CR/omnibus with a 0.2% across-the-board cut from FY10 plus a $210M cut spread evenly among the ICs. I believe this is the first time Congress has specifically proposed a cut to the NIH budget from the prior FY in the agency appropriation bill (& not talking about in comparison with the President’s proposed budget). Last year, the Senate appropriation committee report for Labor, HHS, & Education included a $1B increase in the NIH appropriation … full Senate never voted on it though (House never got an appropriation bill for this agency into play). See http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app11.html for last year’s sorry legislative history and http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&dbname=cp111&sid=cp111JoJQi&refer=&r_n=sr243.111&item=&&&sel=TOC_369315& for the Senate appropriations committee language on the NIH.

  2. CD0 said

    I thought that W had also decreased the NIH budget in 2006.

    In any case, every time modern republicans take control of the NIH budget, they cut it, either directly or by not catching up with inflation.

    It’s obvious where biomedical science (and science in general) stands in their priority list until they get diagnosed with cancer or other serious diseases.

  3. Semilog said

    “In any case, every time modern republicans take control of the NIH budget, they cut it, either directly or by not catching up with inflation.”

    Depends on what you mean by modern. Gingrich was instrumental in pushing the NIH doubling though the GOP-controlled House. We’re entitled to our own opinions (and about Gingrich, I have ’em), but not our own facts.

  4. CD0 said

    Yes, I see Perry, Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul and his son rallying in support of science programs every weekend.

  5. writedit said

    Added to the main post: Jocelyn Kaiser notes that the House appropriations committee draft bill for Labor, HHS, and Education gives the NIH a 3.3% increase (!!) over FY11 funding levels while maintaining funding for NCRR (including $100M boost in its IDeA program) and not incorporating NCATS or CAN (but allowing $2M in the OD to go toward planning).

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