Washington Update

Inside (the) Beltway Scoop

By: Ellen Kuo
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Time is Running Out for FY 2022 

As the last full week before the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2022 looms, Congress has yet to release details of its continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government operating through December. This will, of course, delay any new starts to programs for FY 2023, and notifications to grantees expecting funding in FY 2023 will be delayed until a final spending bill is negotiated. Meanwhile, advocates have been on Capitol Hill urging Congress to complete the FY 2023 spending bills, with at least $49 billion for the National Institutes of Health’s base budget. 

Additionally, it is unknown how much of President Biden’s $50 billion request for supplemental funds will be attached to the CR. This includes billions to assist Ukraine, as well as $22.4 billion in extra COVID funds to fight an expected fall resurgence and $4.5 billion to address monkeypox. Even Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) language to expedite energy permitting is on the line. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had agreed to include it in exchange for Manchin’s support of the Inflation Reduction Act.

In other news, on August 12, the White House announced its intent to appoint the inaugural director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, Renee Wegrzyn, PhD. She is expected to start on October 1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in his statement that she is a “renowned expert in applied biology and an eminent DARPA veteran.”  Her current role is with Gingko Bioworks, a biotech company, as its vice president for business development. The company specializes in using genetic engineering to produce bacteria with industrial applications in a range of industries.