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  • Washington Highlights

    HHS Secretary Testifies Before Appropriators on FY24 Funding Request


    Christa Wagner, Manager, Government Relations
    For Media Inquiries

    Senators asked questions on proposed fiscal year (FY) 2024 funding for medical research, substance use disorder support, and the health care workforce during a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Education) on March 22. The hearing included testimony from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, following the release of President Joe Biden’s FY 2024 budget request on March 9 [refer to  Washington Highlights, March 10].

    In his testimony, Becerra highlighted the budget request’s aims to expand health coverage, reduce prescription drug costs, invest in medical research and pandemic preparedness, grow the health care workforce, and support mental and behavioral health services.

    Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) noted concern about limited funding proposed for Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and also requested a larger investment in the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program. 

    Both Capito and Chair Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) emphasized the importance of investing in medical research and addressing the country’s substance use disorder crisis. Other members of the subcommittee discussed the Strategic National Stockpile and preparedness, maternal health, and mental and behavioral health.  

    Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) stated her concern about current financial and workforce constraints on hospitals. “How do we overcome a financial challenge that was made worse by COVID and inflation?” she asked. Becerra responded that the administration is working to ensure new GME slots are allocated into communities that have not always had those training positions available. 

    Becerra also provided testimony on the FY 2024 budget request before the Senate Finance Committee on March 22 [refer to related story]. The Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee is tentatively scheduled to reconvene on May 4 for testimony on the FY 2024 NIH budget request.