Funding for NIH in Jeopardy; Congress Plans Six Month Continuing Resolution
Published on: August 16, 2012
FY 2013 funding for the NIH is still very much in jeopardy. While the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of a FY 2013 L-HHS bill in June, which included $100 million more for the NIH, that is clearly unobtainable. The House L-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee passed its version of the bill in July flat-lining NIH funding and cutting several other Obama Administration priorities. The House Appropriations Committee indefinitely postponed consideration of the L-HHS bill making it clear that we would not see completion of the appropriations process by the start of the new fiscal year (October 1) and that a Continuing Resolution (CR) would be needed to keep the government operating. Just prior to leaving Washington for the August recess, congressional leaders announced they had reached agreement on a six month CR that would keep the government funded through March 2013. The CR would flat-line the NIH budget. The Congress is expected to vote on and pass the CR when it returns to Washington in September. Fiscal conservatives agreed to the CR because they believe they will have a majority in both the House and Senate in March and can at that time extract significant cuts. In addition to the threat on the FY 2013 appropriation, the risk of the sequester (additional across-the-board cuts) is increasing. The Congress is planning to take up the issue of the sequester after the November elections during the "lame duck" session. Consequently, at best, NIH will be funded at the FY 2012 level; at worse, NIH could receive cuts to its baseline budget and then be cut 8.4 percent as part of the sequester. Please see below for a link to ASH's on-line advocacy campaign to avert the sequester and protect NIH funding and links to additional information about the FY 2013 appropriations process.