The House Appropriations Committee is proposing a $1.25 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a $525 million increase to address the opioids crisis in fiscal year 2017. In total, the NIH would receive $33.3 billion under the bill. Due to the strong bipartisan support for research this figure could come closer to the Senate increase of $2 billion for NIH when and if the bill goes to conference for reconciliation. The House bill also includes a $45 million increase for the White House BRAIN Initiative and $300 million for the White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative.
The path forward for the bill is bleak. While Republicans in the House could pass the bill, it would not meet the 60-vote threshold in the Senate, where the full Appropriations Committee has already approved its own bipartisan version of the bill. With few legislative days remaining a continuing resolution to fund the federal government is seemingly more likely.