Leaders from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) provided testimony on proposed fiscal year (FY) 2024 funding for their agencies during a hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Education) on April 19.
Subcommittee Chair Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) both noted concern about the disproportionate increase proposed by the administration for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health compared to essentially flat-funding the NIH in FY 2024. Other subcommittee members discussed the response to COVID-19, the Strategic National Stockpile, antimicrobial resistance, cancer screening, and the public health workforce.
In his testimony, in performing the duties of NIH director, Larry Tabak, DDS, PhD, highlighted the budget request’s aims to maintain progress in the COVID-19 response, improve maternal health, address mental health needs, develop a universal flu vaccine, and continue investments in the Cancer Moonshot. Nearly 200 members of the House of Representatives joined forces in requesting the Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee provide at least $51 billion for the NIH base budget in FY 2024, in a letter submitted on March 24. On April 12, nearly 60 bipartisan Senators requested that Senate appropriators “maintain a strong commitment to funding the [NIH]” in FY 2024.
In her testimony, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, highlighted proposals to bolster the public health infrastructure, better prevent infectious disease, protect mental health, and address social determinants of health (SDOH). The AAMC joined 150 other organizations in an April 13 letter, urging appropriators to provide $100 million for the CDC SDOH program in FY 2024.
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell testified on three main issues the FY 2024 budget request is working to solve: maintaining COVID-19 response capabilities, preparing for the next pandemic, and supporting and growing ASPR’s traditional responsibilities and programs.
The Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee is tentatively scheduled to hear testimony on the NIH budget on May 4.