Congress Agrees to Give NIH $2 Billion Extra

The proposed spending plan for 2017 includes money for Alzheimer’s and cancer research.

May 1, 2017
Kerry Grens

WIKIMEDIA, O.J.Update (May 8): On Friday (May 5), President Trump accounced that he signed the spending package into law.

Late Sunday night (April 30), members of Congress reached a bipartisan deal for government spending through September of this year that included an additional $2 billion over current appropriations for the National Institutes of Health. According to STAT News, $400 million of that amount will be directed toward Alzheimer’s research and another $476 million will go to the National Cancer Institute.

“The spending agreement is a firm repudiation of the Trump administration’s vision of a much leaner federal research program,” STAT reported. The president’s proposal for 2018 funding would include an 18 percent cut to the NIH.

The $2 billion boost for the NIH comes as part of legislation allocating $1.1 trillion across the government. According to Bloomberg, the legislation also includes $42 million extra for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and $15 million more for DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy.

Science advocacy organizations supported this omnibus package. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), for instance, stated on its website April 19: “The FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill is critical. Not only will it keep federal agencies operating through September 30, 2017, but it also includes a significant increase for the National Institutes of Health and additional funding for the National Science Foundation and Department of Agriculture research programs.”