Appropriators Mark Up FY 2011 Funding Bills for NIH, NSF, and IES

With campaign season gearing up, appropriations subcommittee chairs pushed to get spending bills through their respective bodies.

On July 15, 2010, the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee took the next step in funding federal agencies under its jurisdiction. In his opening remarks, Chairman Obey acknowledged the difficult economic climate in which the subcommittee was working and stated that the total bill was $1.5 billion less than the President’s budget request. Despite the squeeze on the overall bill, the subcommittee provided a $1 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, an increase that matched the President’s request.

According to Obey, “Within limited resources, this year’s bill puts the emphasis on translating basic research results into practical and available cures and treatments,” allowing up to $50 million for NIH’s Cures Acceleration Network. Also in this bill, the Institute for Education Sciences in the Department of Education received an increase from FY 2010 levels to $698 million, a boost of $39 million that was still short of the President’s request.

Likewise, the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee recently marked up its bill and provided funding for the National Science Foundation at the requested level of $7.4 billion, an increase of almost $498 million from FY 2010 or 7.2%. According to Subcommittee Chairman Mollohan, “The Subcommittee recommendation continues to provide resources consistent with the doubling path identified for NSF … in the COMPETES Act.” For FY 2011, the bill also includes $1.5 billion for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

On the Senate side, the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee recommended a $1 billion increase for NIH, an amount  which passed the full Senate Appropriations Committee on July 29, 2010. This level matches both the President's request and the House Subcommittee's number.