Washington Update

Inside (the Beltway) Scoop

By: Ellen Kuo
Thursday, September 14, 2023
Continuing Resolution or Shutdown?

The House returned this week to work on completing spending bills with the Agriculture bill (H.R. 4368) as one of them. The House completed only the Military Construction spending bill (H.R. 4366) before the August recess. However, whether it can pass the remaining 11 before the end of this fiscal year (FY) 2023 is highly unlikely. Therefore, agencies are already preparing for a potential shutdown. If a continuing resolution can be negotiated to avoid a shutdown, it is rumored it will run until November or early December of this year. 

Meanwhile, the Senate returned last week and is working on a series of spending bills they will bring to the Senate floor for passage. These include the Agriculture and Military Construction bills. Due to the fact that Senate spending bills were bipartisan in nature, it is likely they will all pass. 

As Congress works on legislation, advocates were in town for this week’s Rally for Medical Research. FASEB was represented by its President Mary-Ann Bjornsti, along with nearly 300 hundred participants affiliated with 120 unique scientific organizations and societies to urge Congress to support the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding number for FY 2024 of at least $49.22 billion as the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended. This number is inclusive of $1.5 billion for ARPA-H. NIH has received an increase of $17 billion over the last eight years, or a 58% increase. However, Congress is being encouraged to restore purchasing power lost after 15 years of inflation-adjusted declines. The medical research community had requested at least $51 billion for NIH’s base program level for FY 2024 and is still optimistic additional funding can be provided above the recommendation from Senate appropriators. 

FASEB issued an advocacy alert surrounding the rally. You can participate online here. Add your voice to the request. Follow the rally at #RallyMedRes and #FundNIH.