Washington Update

Inside (the Beltway) Scoop

By: Ellen Kuo
Thursday, March 23, 2023

President’s Budget for FY 2024 Released

Last week, President Biden released his $1.6 trillion budget for fiscal year 2024 after a one-month delay, just before his speech in Pennsylvania. According to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young, it is a budget where all of the administration’s proposals are paid for and it is fiscally responsible. The agencies also released their budget in briefs that provided other details not in the OMB summary.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a program level of $48.6 billion compared to FASEB’s request of $50.9 billion, when excluding the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, also known as ARPA-H. This new agency would receive an additional $2.5 billion according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Budget in Brief. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) mission to promote Americans’ health and well-being, in total HHS proposes $144.3 billion in discretionary and $1.7 trillion in mandatory proposed budget authority for FY 2024. HHS’ budget request is also focused on the growing behavioral health crisis and preparing for future public health threats among other areas such as addressing the needs of those most at risk in our country; growing our health workforce; and advancing science to improve health. The NIH-issued budget document noted the agency would also be allocated $2.69 billion from the $20 billion being proposed for pandemic preparedness across HHS. There is also a reauthorization of the mandatory Special Type I Diabetes Program with increased funding over three years, in the amounts of $250 million in FY 2024, $260 million in FY 2025, and $270 million in FY 2026. Congressional justifications by NIH institutes and centers can be found here.

Other federal agencies FASEB tracks include the National Science Foundation (NSF), where the president’s budget proposes $11.3 billion compared to the $15.7 billion that the CHIPS and Science Act authorized for FY 2024 for the agency. The proposal is a $1.8 billion or 18.6 percent increase from the 2023 enacted level. According to the NSF director’s statement on the budget, it reaffirms NSF’s mission and the commitment to investing in science and engineering research, creating new partnerships to keep America competitive, and breaking down barriers to participation in STEM. The pillars of this budget are:
  • Create Opportunities Everywhere  
  • Build a Resilient Planet  
  • Advance Emerging Industries for National and Economic Security  
  • Strengthen Research Infrastructure

The Department of Energy Office of Science was provided $8.8 billion, which is less than the Energy Sciences Coalition’s and FASEB’s request of $9.5 billion. Other research areas are the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative, receiving $550 million, short of the $700 million authorized for this research program within the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. With China currently the largest funder of agricultural research and development globally, the total budget for the U.S. Department of Agriculture is meant to restore American innovation in agricultural research programs and outreach, to increase capacity at research institutions representing historically underserved populations, and for climate funding. Last is the VA Medical and Prosthetic Research program, which received $938 million, $42 million less than the request of the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) of $980 million. FASEB is a member of FOVA and supports the coalition’s $980 million request for veterans’ research.

Members of the president’s cabinet will now testify on Capitol Hill to defend his budget. Meanwhile, FASEB advocates for research took their priority requests to their members of Congress on March 15 for the first time in person since the start of COVID.