Created by on 10/06/2011

In a surprise move, last week the House Appropriations Committee released a draft of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) spending bill that funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Release of the legislation came amid continued uncertainty over whether the Appropriations Committee would hold a mark-up to formally approve the bill. According to a summary released by the committee, the bill would provide $31.7 billion for NIH in FY 2012, the same as the Obama administration’s request and $1 billion (3.3 percent) more than FY 2011. The draft House bill is also $1.2 billion more than the amount recommended by the Senate.
Within the NIH total, the House bill text does not appropriate any money for the proposed new National Center for Advancing Translational Research as the Senate bill did. Instead, the House bill provides funds for the National Center for Research Resources, including $488 million specifically for the Clinical and Translational Science Awards and $331 million for Institutional Development Awards. $10 million is allocated within the Office of the Director for the Director’s Discretionary Fund, of which up to $2 million “may be used to establish the Cures Acceleration Board within the Office of the Director’s Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives to develop a plan with prioritized recommendations related to the Cures Acceleration Network for consideration in future appropriations.” The House appropriators also increased funding for buildings and facilities at NIH to $125.6 million.
In addition, language in the House LHHS bill specially instructs the Director of NIH to ensure that at least 9,150 new and competing research grants are awarded in FY 2012 from all Institute, Center, and Office of the Director accounts (an increase of about 450 from the FY 2011 projection). The legislation also states that with respect to the aggregate amount of funds appropriated to NIH, the Director shall maintain an allocation of 90 percent to extramural activities and 10 percent for intramural programs. A table summarizing funding levels for various programs within the LHHS bill is available on the House Appropriations Committee website. FASEB President Dr. Joseph C. LaManna met with LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg in Washington, DC on October 5th and will be sending a letter thanking the committee for the proposed funding increase for NIH. Members of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology also met with the subcommittee chairman to personally express their gratitude for the NIH funding level in the House LHHS bill.


"FASEB President Dr. Joseph C. LaManna thanks House Labor Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) for proposing a $1 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health."