ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

Budget deal could boost FDA, NIH, hurt 21st Century Cures

October 31, 2015 1:42 AM UTC

The two-year budget deal passed by the Senate early Friday morning could be good for NIH and FDA, but bad for the 21st Century Cures Act. The deal lifts a cap on non-defense spending by $40 billion above levels that would have occurred under budget sequestration rules. It gives Congress until Dec. 11 to set FY16 appropriations for specific government programs. The deadline sets off competition among advocates for spending priorities that biomedical research advocates are confident they can win.

Lifting the spending cap removes a barrier that has stymied efforts to increase NIH's budget, said Mary Wooley, president and CEO of research funding advocacy group Research!America. A White House statement said the deal "will allow us to increase research funding" for NIH. The Senate Appropriations Committee has proposed a $2 billion increase in NIH's FY16 budget, while House appropriators want a $1.1 billion boost. ...