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Senate Appropriations Committee Approves 302(b) Subcommittee Allocations

Legislative Update
April 18, 2016

On April 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 302(b) Subcommittee allocations, which are the amounts that each Subcommittee has to then draft their respective appropriations bill for the programs under their jurisdiction.

For the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the allocation of $161.9 billion is approximately $8.6 billion more than that in FY2016. The Committee approved the allocations by a 29-1 vote, with all Democrat members voting in favor. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) was the lone member who voted against the agreement.

The House Appropriations Committee has not yet approved its full slate of 302(b) allocations, having only approved the allocation for the Military Construction-VA subcommittee, although it has begun work on its 12 appropriations bills. Chairman Harold Rogers has said that he hopes to have all his committee’s bills sent to the House floor by late June.

On April 8, NAEVR submitted written testimony to the House and Senate LHHS Appropriations Subcommittees urging that NIH FY2017 funding of at least $34.5 billion and National Eye Institute (NEI) funding of $770 million —a 7.5 percent increase for each reflecting five percent real growth above biomedical inflation. In its testimony, NAEVR also thanked Congress for the $2 billion NIH and $31 million NEI increase in FY2016—the latter reflecting the first time in four years that NEI’s operating budget exceeds that of the pre-sequester FY2012 level (albeit by 0.8 percent).