Congressional leaders are working to negotiate an agreement on topline funding for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 appropriations bills with less than three weeks until the expiration of current government funding. President Joe Biden previously signed a continuing resolution (CR) into law on Sept. 30 that extended FY 2022 funding through Dec. 16 [refer to Washington Highlights, Sept. 30].
Biden hosted top House and Senate leadership at the White House on Nov. 29 to discuss end of year legislative priorities, including passage of FY 2023 spending bills. Following the meeting, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addressed reporters, noting their preference to complete an omnibus appropriations bill by the end of the year rather than pass a full-year CR. Pelosi added that a bipartisan agreement on topline spending for defense and nondefense programs was needed and shared urgency in moving to the next step in negotiations “as soon as possible.”
Nearly 300 members of the AAMC-convened Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research previously sent a Nov. 8 letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership, urging swift passage of at least the House Appropriations Committee-passed $47.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) base budget for FY 2023 and to avoid additional CRs. House appropriators passed their Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) spending bill on June 30, while Senate Democrats introduced their bill on July 28 [refer to Washington Highlights, July 1, July 29].
“Continuing the momentum of the prior seven years of bipartisan support for meaningful funding growth in the NIH’s existing institutes and centers is key to ensuring that the nation can continue to accelerate the development of breakthrough cures while supporting high quality jobs across the country, catalyzing new industries, and enhancing the U.S.’s global competitiveness,” the letter stated.
The AAMC also supported swift passage of the FY 2023 Labor-HHS spending bill to provide robust funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a Nov. 12 CDC Coalition letter.
As a member of the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) Executive Committee, the AAMC also urged Congress to provide an increase for the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical and Prosthetic Research program in FY 2023 in a Nov. 22 letter. The House of Representatives approved its FY 2023 Military Construction, VA, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) spending bill on July 20, which includes funding for the VA research program, while Senate Democrats unveiled their MilCon-VA bill on July 28 [refer to Washington Highlights, July 22, July 29].
“FOVA is appreciative of the bipartisan funding increases Congress has provided for the VA Medical and Prosthetic Research program in recent years, allowing VA to expand and excel in developing innovative treatments and diagnostics and to use cutting edge technology to care for veterans. To continue this momentum, we urge that any final FY 2023 appropriations package include at least the House-passed recommendation of $926 million for the VA research program,” the executive committee wrote.
The AAMC also highlighted passage of FY 2023 appropriations bills in a Nov. 4 letter to congressional leaders, outlining important legislative provisions to pass by the end of the calendar year. If Congress does not act during the 117th Congress, decisions on FY 2023 spending will be determined by members of the 118th Congress, who will be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2023.