Senate Subcommittee Discusses NIH’s FY 2024 Budget
On May 4, The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing on the fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH Acting Director Dr. Lawrence Tabak, Principal Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Dr. Douglas Lowy, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Dr. Joshua Gordon, Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Dr. Richard Hodes, and Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Dr. Nora Volkow testified before the committee.
In her opening statement, Chairwoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) voiced her support for the NIH, with committee member, and President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Patty Murray (D-WA) adding, “when it comes to protecting our families, NIH funding is just as important as defense funding.” Several members of the subcommittee expressed concern about the House-passed bill proposing major cuts to discretionary spending, which if enacted would result in the loss of the United States’ global scientific leadership. Dr. Tabak added that the proposed budget cuts would impact young researchers the most, likely resulting in a decrease in future STEM researchers.
Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and other subcommittee members raised concerns over the President’s flat funding requests for nearly all parts of the NIH and asked for an explanation as to why the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) would receive a major boost in funding at the expense of other NIH activities. Dr. Tabak explained that ARPA-H is an independent agency housed within NIH and that the lack of increased funding is not a result of the ARPA-H increase many NIH advocates do not agree with this sentiment. A recording of the hearing, along with the witness testimonies, are available on the subcommittee’s website.