Congress Approves Omnibus Appropriations Bill
The House and Senate approved H.R. 3547, the Omnibus Appropriations bill, to fund the government until the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2014. The $1.1 trillion package includes $29.9 billion in funding for NIH, which is $1 billion over fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding levels, but is still below levels that the AGA and other research community advocates were seeking ($32 billion).
Additional health-care highlights of the deal include:
- No new funding for the Affordable Care Act.
- Funding of:
- $1.744 billion for NIDDK.
- $3.7 billion for CMS management and operations, which is equal to the level put in place by the sequester.
- $305 million for CMS to allow for the timely processing and payment of benefits.
- $6.9 billion for the CDC ($567 million above the fiscal year 2013 program level).
- $30 million to support the Advanced Molecular Detection initiative to enhance CDC’s ability to find and stop deadly infectious disease outbreaks
- $1.3 billion for Public Health Preparedness and Response to help ensure the readiness of the Strategic National Stockpile and provide ample resources for State and Local Preparedness.
- $255 million ($5 million above the request) for Project BioShield to support biodefense efforts.
- Reduction of:
- $1 billion for the Prevention and Public Health Trust Fund.
- $10 million for the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
This deal avoids a potential government shutdown, which plagued Congress last year, and implements the bipartisan budget deal that was reached late last year by Budget Chairs Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI. The next budget challenge will be addressing the debt limit.
The AGA is pleased that Congress provided some sequestration relief for programs such as NIH. We will continue to advocate for adequate funding for the NIH, which not only will benefit the quality of life for countless Americans, but also contribute to our nation’s economic competitiveness. Look for more updates in AGA eDigest and the AGA Washington Insider.