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House Appropriations Committee Releases FY2015 Subcommittee Allocations; Senate Yet to Take Similar Action

Legislative Update
May 8, 2014

On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 302(b) allocations, which establish the funding levels for each of the 12 Subcommittees that write the individual appropriations bills each year. The allocations are a required part of the appropriations process.

The Senate has yet to issue its own set of allocations, although the Subcommittees have reportedly been given ‘tentative’ allocations with which they can begin work on their respective bills. It is believed that the official Senate allocations will be released early next week, and the subcommittees will begin marking up their bills.

The House allocation for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS), which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sets the amount at $155.7 billion. That represents a cut of $1 billion from the Department’s final FY2014 appropriated amount of $156.8 billion – meaning that the NIH may not see any significant increase in the FY2015 appropriations bill. The LHHS subcommittee has not scheduled a markup yet for its bill.

At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee two weeks ago on Federal Investment in Innovation, Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) stated her wish that she could give all the agencies represented at the hearing – the NIH, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)—the funding that they needed for their research programs, but that is not possible since she would be working within the budget caps established by Congress last December for FY2014 and 2015.