The sizeable National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget increase for which many in the biomedical community had been hoping is looking unlikely as Congress begins marking up spending bills for fiscal year 2004. House and Senate appropriations panels this week approved relatively small increases to the NIH budget for the next fiscal year, which starts October 1, 2003.

On June 25, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee allocated $27.98 billion to NIH, a 3.7% increase of $1.0 billion over the fiscal year (FY) 2003 appropriation and $318.6 million more than the White House requested.

The same day, the House Appropriations Committee approved an NIH budget of $27.66 billion, a 2.5% increase of $681 million over FY 2003's enacted budget. The House budget matches the White House's request. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and other research advocates had recommended a...

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