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CCTS Newsletter | December 16, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Blake Goodman
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 Dale Dirks and Dale Christiansen
December 16, 2016

The 114th Congress opted not to advance the eleven pending Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 spending bills—including the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill that funds many medical research and patient care programs—before adjourning on December 10th. It is now up to the incoming president and the 115th Congress to finish off the FY 2017 process next year. In order to keep the federal government operating in lieu of completed spending bills, Congress and the administration enacted a Continuing Appropriations Resolution or “CR.”

The CR passed by Congress and signed by the President earlier this month maintains spending at FY 2016 levels for most federal agencies through April 28th, 2017. The CR does not contain controversial health and environmental policy riders that have bogged down the appropriations process in recent years.

While pending funding increases for nearly all federal agencies remain on hold at this time, the CR includes some immediate spending adjustments, such as providing an additional $352 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the spending specifically authorized by the recently-enacted 21st Century Cures legislation for the following programs:

  • $40 million for Precision Medicine
  • $10 million for the BRAIN Initiative
  • $300 million for cancer research and the Cancer Moonshot
  • $2 million for Regenerative Medicine

The CR also provides $20 million for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Innovation Fund and $500 million for state opioid grants, consistent with the amount authorized by the 21st Century Cures bill.

The lack of clear medical research positions from the incoming administration and the absence of a final FY 2017 funding package has created some uncertainty at NIH. In an effort to demonstrate continued support and stability for the agency, the Chairmen and Ranking Member of the House and Senate L-HHS Appropriations Subcommittees recently sent official correspondence to the Trump transition team expressing their interest in allowing Dr. Francis Collins to continue to serve as NIH Director. Some alternative names have been floated, but President-elect Trump has yet to put forward any final candidates to lead NIH or FDA.