Senate funding committees vote to boost NIH, global TB investments, maintain global and domestic health funding

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Senate appropriators today rejected budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration and voted to increase funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion while maintaining current funding for virtually all global and domestic health programs.

With details on the particulars still sketchy, the funding subcommittee appears to have rejected cuts to CDC global and domestic programs, holding most CDC programs at current levels. Based on a summary of the bill released by the Committee, the proposed increase to the NIH is significant and appears to include  at least the current level of resources for the Fogarty International Center. According to the summary, the research funding includes “Increases to every Institute and Center to continue investments in innovative research that will advance fundamental knowledge and speed the development of new therapies, diagnostics, and preventive measures to improve the health of all Americans.” The summary also notes a $50 million increase in research activities aimed at combating antimicrobial resistance.

Today also, the Senate State Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee voted to fund the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to fight AIDS,Tuberculosis and Malaria at their current levels of $4.32 billion and $1.35 billion respectively. In addition, the committee provided a $20 million increase in global tuberculosis resources through reprogrammed Ebola funds. Senate appropriators, like their House counterparts, rejected steep cuts in global health programs, with global health programs kept at current funding levels.

These funding bills will be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

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