Washington Update

Inside (the Beltway) Scoop

By: Ellen Kuo
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Senate Appropriators Resume Regular Order, Congress Returns from Recess

The Senate Appropriations Committee began its first full committee markups of the fiscal year (FY) 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill and the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill in late June before leaving for the July recess. This marks the first time in history that two women are leading this committee. It was also the first full committee markup in two years and both the chair and vice chair agreed it was important to keep the Senate Appropriations process moving ahead in a bipartisan fashion to avoid an omnibus bill. 

For FY 2024, the Medical and Prosthetic Research Program received $980 million, the same amount as the House Appropriations Committee provided. The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative was funded at $455 million, less than the House Appropriations committee recommendation of $460 million.

The Senate returned on July 10 and the House on July 11 to restart markups on remaining bills. Continuation of the Senate Appropriations Committee markups will resume on July 16 with the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) bill among those being considered. There are also two House full committee markups scheduled.

The House Appropriators 302(b) allocations total close to $1.5 trillion versus the Senate Appropriators which were more generous at roughly $1.6 trillion. The  Senate appropriators matched the defense and nondefense discretionary figures for FY 2024 under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, P.L 118-5.  When comparing the House 302(b) allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS), and Related Agencies bill to the Senate allocation, the Senate’s is $195.2 billion, or $48 billion higher than the House total of $147.1 billion. For the CJS bill, the Senate allocation is $69.7 billion or $10.9 billion over the House allocation. 

Additional Outreach to Support NIH
As part of  advocacy efforts to support the National Institutes of Health in the LHHS bill, an ad campaign was initiated with an opinion piece titled Increased NIH Investment Provides Returns for Every American. The ad campaign highlighted why Congress needs to invest in NIH to support cancer breakthroughs and to prevent another Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patient. Ongoing efforts to highlight how research in other areas will be impacted by decreased funding continue.