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House Appropriations Committee Releases Draft HHS Spending Bill

September 30, 2011—With the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee's markup postponed indefinitely, House appropriators Sept. 29 released a draft of its FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill and accompanying tables.  

The draft bill includes $153.4 billion in discretionary funding, which is $4 billion (2.5 percent) below the FY 2011 enacted level, and $600 million less than the bill (S. 1599; S. Rpt. 112-84) the Senate Appropriations Committee approved Sept. 21 [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 23]. The House draft reflects the change in the FY 2012 discretionary spending cap to $1.043 trillion; the amount to which the House, Senate, and White House agreed in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25). However, the draft bill also rescinds FY 2012 funding from the Prevention and Public Health Fund and other mandatory funding streams established in the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152), which had been used to supplement (and in some cases substitute for) several health programs’ appropriations in FY 2011.

The bill provides $31.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), equal to the president’s request and $1 billion (3.3 percent) more than the current year’s level. The House draft bill is also $1.2 billion more than the Senate bill.

The draft House bill would reduce the cap on salaries on extramural grants to Executive Level III ($165,300 in 2011). The Senate bill retains the cap at its current Executive Level I ($199,700). The president’s budget had proposed reducing the cap to Executive Level II. The AAMC strongly supports keeping the cap at Executive Level I.

Unlike the Senate bill, which provided $20 million for the new Cures Acceleration Network (CAN), the House draft does not include funding for CAN, but provides up to $10 million for the NIH Director’s Discretionary Fund, of which up to $2 million “may be used to establish the Cures Acceleration Board within the Office of the Director’s Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives to develop a plan with prioritized recommendations related to the Cures Acceleration Network for consideration in future appropriations.”

The House draft also continues to appropriate money to the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) in contrast to the Senate bill, which reflects the dissolution of NCRR and appropriates funding for the new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Within the NCRR budget, the House draft provides $331 million for the Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) program.

The bill includes statutory language requiring the Director of NIH to support “at least 9,150 new and competing research project grants,” an increase of about 450 from the FY 2011 projection.

The bill also includes $488 million for Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards and $193 million for the National Children’s Study.

The draft bill drastically cuts funding for Title VII health professions programs, providing a total of $87.5 million, a $185 million (67.9 percent) cut. The draft eliminates funding for several Title VII health professions education programs, including the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP), Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, Primary Care Medicine, Area Health Education Centers, and the allied health programs. The draft also substantially reduces funding for the Centers of Excellence and the public health and preventive medicine programs. Title VIII nursing education programs suffer similar cuts in the draft, which provides $106.8 million, a $135.6 million (55.9 percent) cut for Title VIII. The Senate committee-approved bill also eliminated HCOP, but boosted funding for the preventive medicine program and maintained all other Title VII and VIII programs at FY 2011 funding levels.

The draft bill eliminates $295 million from the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Fund created under the ACA for FY 2012. The bill also proposes total FY 2012 funding of $142 million for the NHSC, a $173 million (55 percent) cut below the FY 2011 comparable level.

The draft cuts the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) by $47.8 million (12.8 percent) for a total of $324.3 million.

The draft maintains funding for the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program at the current year level of $268.4 million.

The House draft provides $5.6 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), $52 million (0.9 percent) less than appropriated in FY 2011. However, CDC also received a $611 million transfer from the Prevention and Public Health Fund in FY 2011, and was expected to receive the bulk of the $1 billion designated in the fund for FY 2012.


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559

Tannaz Rasouli
Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
Telephone: 202-828-0525

Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116

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Jason Kleinman
Senior Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806