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Congress Passes Second Continuing Resolution That Funds Government Programs Through December 18, 2009

Legislative Update
October 30, 2009

Yesterday, the House and Senate passed a second Continuing Resolution (CR) that keeps government programs running through December 18, 2009. The CR, which was attached to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Interior-Environment appropriations bill, extends the timeframe for Congressional action on the seven appropriations bills not yet passed from the October 31 date in the initial CR passed on October 1. The CR funds programs at the FY2009 level, except for Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare and the Census Bureau. The House has passed all of its bills, while the Senate has only passed seven.

Regarding vision research funding:

  • Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved their respective FY2010 appropriations bills for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS), which include funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eye Institute (NEI). The House bill, H.R. 3293, was passed by the House on July 24 and would fund the NIH at $30.97 billion, an increase of $670 million, or 3.1 percent, over the FY2009 level, and the NEI at $713.1 million, an increase of $24.6 million, or 3.57 percent, over 2009. The Senate has not yet taken up its bill, which funds the NIH at $30.8 billion, an increase of $500 million, or 1.4 percent, over 2009, and the NEI at $700.2 million, an increase of $11.7 million, or 1.7 percent, over FY2009. The Senate may not pass a stand-alone LHHS bill, but rather conference with the House on a version that gets passed as part of an omnibus bill.

  • On July 30, the House passed its FY2010 Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326), which maintains the dedicated Peer Reviewed Medical Research-Vision line item and funds it at $5 million, an increase of $1 million or 25 percent over FY2009. The Senate passed its bill on October 6, and the chambers have been in negotiations regarding a conference bill. The Senate bill passed absent language regarding PRMR-Vision, and NAEVR has been meeting with its House defense-related vision research champions to ensure that the line item is contained in a conference bill.