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CCTS Newsletter | September 18, 2019

Thursday, September 19, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kimberly Durante
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CCTS Newsletter

Dale Dirks and Dane Christiansen

September 18, 2019

Following agreement on a budget deal, Senate appropriators were expected to mark up their Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 spending bills shortly after convening in early September. Those plans were thrown into question though when partisan disagreements over “poison pill” policy riders derailed a few of the hearing, including the markup of the FY 2020 Labor-HHS-Education (LHSS) Appropriations Bill. In an effort to break the impasse while avoiding tough votes on difficult issues, Senate Republicans released their FY20 LHHS Appropriations Bill and corresponding Committee Report as a Chairman’s Mark. The Senate is now working through a number of procedural maneuvers, but regardless of how the politics work out, this Chairman’s Mark is expected to serve as the Senate negotiating position when Congress works to combine the FY20 Senate LHHS bill with the House bill while negotiating a final spending measure.

The FY20 Senate LHHS Appropriations Bill includes the following items of interest:

·       A $3 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which would bring overall NIH funding up to $42.1 billion annually. By contrast, the House bill calls for a $2 billion funding increase.

·       Maintenance of line-item funding for the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program along with a $29.7 million funding increase for CTSAs, which would bring overall program funding up to $589.4 million annually. The House bill removed line-item CTSA funding and called for a $17 million cut.

·       A $43 million funding increase for the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH, which would bring overall NCATS funding up to $849.16 million annually.

·       $256 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a cut of $83 million from FY 2019. The bill also mentions the expiration of mandatory funding for PCORI. While the funding for NIIH is quite generous, other parts of the public health service receive near level funding or modest cuts under the Senate proposal (AHRQ being just one example).