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107th Congress

Public Laws | arrow indicating current page Other Legislation

Doubling the NIH Budget in the 107th Congress

S. Res. 19/H. Res. 72, H.R. 590, H.R. 1144, H. Con. Res. 83/ S. Con. Res. 20, P.L. 107-116 (H.R. 3061/House Report 107-229 and S. 1536/Senate Report 107-84), H.R. 5320, S. 2776, and Senate Report 107-216

Background

The effort to double the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget began as a movement among Senate Republicans and has had bipartisan support in both the House and Senate since the first session of the 105th Congress. Based on the substantial increases provided to NIH in fiscal years (FYs) 1999 through 2002, the effort created a climate supportive of the move to double the NIH budget to a level of $27.221 billion by 2003, and has been responsible for the increases provided in the appropriation measures for NIH. NIH's FY 1999 appropriation was an unprecedented 15-percent increase, or a $2.03 billion increase, over the FY 1998 level, which was claimed by the Chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education as the first installment in doubling NIH's budget by 2003.

On February 27, 2001, newly inaugurated President George W. Bush presented a budget to Congress, noting specifically that the President's Budget would continue the effort to double NIH's 1998 funding level in 5 years by increasing the Agency's funding by $2.8 billion over the 2001 level, for a total of $23.1 billion in 2002. On April 9, 2001, the FY 2002 President's Budget was released. The NIH funding in this proposed budget matched the February submission to Congress. The FY 2002 President's Budget request restated the Administration's commitment to continue the 5-year plan to double the NIH budget by FY 2003, with FY 2002 representing the fourth installment in this plan.

The doubling estimates, compared with the actual NIH appropriations, are listed below. The FY 1998 base level was $13.612 billion.

Year Estimate for Doubling NIH Actual Appropriation President's Budget Request
1999 $15.636 billion $15.612 billion $14.763 billion
2000 $17.960 billion $17.913 billion $15.933 billion
2001 $20.631 billion $20.313 billion $18.813 billion
2002 $23.698 billion $23.042 billion $23.042 billion
2003 $27.221 billionPending$27.335 billion

Provisions of the Legislation/Impact on NIH

S. Res. 19/H. Res. 72—Biomedical Revitalization Resolution of 2001

S. Res.19, the Biomedical Revitalization Resolution of 2001, was introduced on February 13, 2001, by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) to express the Sense of the Senate that the funding for NIH should be increased by $3.4 billion in FY 2002. A bipartisan group of 11 Senators cosponsored the resolution. These Senators included Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Bill Frist (R-TN), Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME). The measure was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

H. Res. 72, the Biomedical Revitalization Resolution of 2001, a companion measure to S. Res. 19, was introduced by Representative George W. Gekas (R-PA) on February 28, 2001, to express the Sense of the House that the Federal investment in biomedical research should be increased by $3.4 billion in FY 2002. The resolution had 27 cosponsors.

Senator Specter and Representative Gekas introduced similar resolutions in the 105th and 106th Congresses expressing the Sense of the Senate and House that the Federal investment in biomedical research should be increased.

H.R. 590—National Eye Institute Authorization Act of 2001

H.R. 590, the National Eye Institute Authorization Act of 2001, was introduced on February 13, 2001, by Representative Patsy T. Mink (D-HI), and would have amended the Public Health Service Act to provide an authorization level for the National Eye Institute (NEI) for FYs 2002 through 2004, which, if appropriated, would have doubled the budget for NEI over the course of 3 years. The amounts authorized for NEI would have been $604,312,000 for FY 2002, $698,013,000 for FY 2003, and $791,714,000 for FY 2004. There were 18 cosponsors. The measure was similar to H.R. 731, introduced by Representative Mink in the 106th Congress. (For further information, see the article entitled "National Eye Institute Authorization Act of 2001.")

H.R. 1144—Disease Research Revitalization Act of 2001

On March 21, 2001, Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced H.R. 1144, the Disease Research Revitalization Act of 2001, to authorize an increase in the Federal investment in research on cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and asthma by $2 billion for FY 2002 and to express the Sense of the House that the Federal investment in such research be increased each fiscal year through 2006. The bill stated that the authorizations would be in addition to the appropriations available for FY 2002 for research on cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and asthma through NIH. The bill would have authorized $2 billion for FY 2002. No statute would have been amended to provide this authorization. The other provision of the bill was a Sense of the House that funding for NIH for these diseases should be increased by $2 billion over the amount appropriated for FY 2002 and FY 2003, and by $1 billion over the amount appropriated for the preceding fiscal year for each of the FYs 2004 through 2006. The bill had five cosponsors.

H. Con. Res. 83/S. Con. Res. 20—Budget Resolution FY 2002 (Resolution Setting Forth the Congressional Budget for Fiscal Year 2002, Revising the Congressional Budget for the United States Government for Fiscal Year 2001, and Setting Forth Appropriate Budgetary Levels for Each of Fiscal Years 2003 Through 2011)

H. Con. Res. 83, the FY 2002 Budget Resolution, was introduced on March 26, 2001, by Representative Jim Nussle (R-IA). The measure passed the House on March 28, 2001, and the Senate on April 6, 2001. On May 10, the Senate agreed to the conference report to accompany H. Con. Res. 83, by a vote of 53 to 47. The report was previously agreed to by the House on May 9, by a vote of 221 to 207. The conference report (House Report 107-60) stated the following: "Funding in the resolution accommodates the President's proposal to double the National Institutes of Health [NIH] 1998 funding level of $13.6 billion by 2003. To accomplish this, the 2002 budget assumes $23.1 billion for NIH, a $2.8 billion increase above the 2001 level."

  • Specter/Harkin Amendment 2002. On April 4, 2001, the Senate passed a Specter-Harkin amendment to H. Con. Res. 83 by a vote of 96 to 4. This amendment changed the FY 2002 budget resolution to increase the assumption for NIH within the function 550 total by $700 million, thus raising the total assumption for NIH to a $3.4 billion increase in FY 2002. The amendment was cosponsored by Senators Collins, DeWine, Mikulski, Murray, Sarbanes, Snowe, John F. Kerry (D-MA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Paul David Wellstone (D-MN). The amendment was dropped in conference.
  • Prior Specter/Harkin Amendments (2001 and 2000). Attempts by Senator Specter and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) to introduce amendments to add funds to the NIH budget failed. The 2000 amendment fell on a point of order, and the 2001 amendment was stripped from its legislation during conference.

P.L. 107-116 (H.R. 3061/House Report 107-229 and S. 1536/ Senate Report 107-84)—FY 2002 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies

On October 9, 2001, the House Committee on Appropriations reported H.R. 3061, the FY 2002 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill, appropriating $22.564 billion to NIH, an increase of $2.462 billion, or 12 percent, over the previous year's level. On October 11, the House passed H.R. 3061. On October 11, the Senate Committee on Appropriations reported its bill, S. 1536, providing a $3.4 billion increase for NIH, for a total of $23.7 billion, a figure closer to the doubling target than the House bill. On November 6, 2001, the Senate passed its version of the bill. Although no reference to "doubling" was made in the House report, the Senate report contained the following language: "The Committee reiterates its history of support for doubling and noted that the increase provided maintains the goal of doubling funding for the NIH by FY 2003." P.L. 107-116, the FY 2002 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Act, was signed on January 10, 2002, providing an appropriation of $23.285 billion for NIH. (For more information, see the article entitled "Appropriations for NIH, Fiscal Year 2002.")

S. 2776/Senate Report 107-216, and H.R. 5320—FY 2003 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies

On July 18, 2002, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education reported out S. 2776, FY 2003 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Education. The bill included a total of $27.193 billion for NIH. This represented an increase of $3.737 billion over the FY 2002 level and $25 million over the President's budget request, or a 15.9-percent increase. This appropriation would have completed the 5-year effort to double the funding for NIH. However, the bill was not brought to the Senate floor for a vote before the 107th Congress adjourned. On September 4, 2002, Representative C. W. "Bill" Young (R-FL), Chairman, House Appropriations Committee, introduced H.R. 5320, the FY 2003 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Education, a "placeholder" bill, which was the President's budget request for these agencies.

Status and Outlook

No further action occurred on appropriations measures in the House because differences between the House leadership, the appropriations committees, and the Administration stalled any appropriations action for the remainder of the 107th Congress. As a result, only 2 of the 13 regular FY 2003 appropriations bills were enacted before the 107th Congress adjourned, neither of which affected NIH funding. Likewise, the Senate bill which would have funded NIH died at the end of the 107th Congress. NIH has been provided funding for FY 2003 through a series of continuing resolutions, the most recent of which, a fifth continuing resolution, provides funding through January 11, 2003, at the current rate of spending for FY 2002.

For more information on FY 2003 Appropriations, see the articles entitled "Department of Defense Appropriations, Fiscal Year 2003 (P.L. 107-248)," "Appropriations for the National Institutes of Health, Fiscal Year 2003," and "Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2003."

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