The Coalition for the Life Sciences (CLS) would like to thank Congress for its commitment to the federally funded life science enterprise.
National Institutes of Health
The CLS is pleased to see that Congress supported a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a FY17 funding level of $34 billion. This funding is critical to support the promising studies that serve to improve health. Additionally, it builds on the $2 billion increase provided in FY2016. For too long, NIH faced stagnant funding. These recent increases provide researchers the stability needed for future breakthroughs in human biology and disease.
National Science Foundation
Congress also increased funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF received an additional $9 million for a FY17 budget of $7.5 billion. Congress has been debating revamping the NSF’s merit review process in order to prioritize scientific disciplines. We are pleased to see that this budget agreement ensures that the NSF retains the flexibility to respond nimbly to emerging areas of scientific interest.
Centers for Disease Control
Also gaining through this spending bill would be the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which could get a $22 million boost, to $7.3 billion. The CDC still struggles to fund the necessary resources for new and emerging threats but this increase is certainly a step forward.
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received a nominal, and not unexpected, cut to the agency. This cut was a result of drug and medical device industries fee negotiations. Congress believes the FDA can absorb this cut through administrative savings and, thus, continue to meet its existing responsibilities. The CLS believes the FDA is in need of increased resources in order to do its job properly.
The CLS understands and appreciates the very difficult budget decisions Congress faces. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to continue to advance the nation’s biomedical research enterprise.