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February 17, 2017: ASPET Government Affairs and Science Policy Update

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More Cabinet confirmations; FY17 drumbeat continues; Appropriators consider FY18 spending priorities; POTUS “skinny budget” expected in March 

House begins preliminary work on FY2018 appropriations:  House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) announced that all subcommittees will be holding “Member Day” hearings to “allow each Member of the House to have his or her voice heard and to have a hand in crafting 12 appropriations bills that reflect the concerns and priorities of the American people.” 

It has been many years since individual members of Congress have had an opportunity to provide public input on the spending bills, suggesting the Chairman has an earnest desire to increase his colleagues’ involvement in the appropriations process before spending legislation is finalized. Testifying at the “Member Days” is a way for legislators from other committees to weigh in on the appropriations process early on and express their support for NIH and other research agencies. The hearings began on February 15 and will conclude in early March.

FY 2017 Update: Until FY 2017 appropriations are resolved, ASPET will continue urging Congress to finalize an FY 2017 spending package with $34.1 billion for the NIH, as approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee in June.

POTUS Budget: Reports from the White House indicate that the Trump administration will submit a FY 2018 budget outline (“skinny budget”) to Congress within “the next few weeks.” There had been speculation that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would delay delivery of the Trump budget until May in order to have additional time to prepare a more comprehensive plan, but momentum has returned as the Senate confirmed Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) as OMB Director by a vote of 51-49 on February 16.

ASPET Coalition Partner Finalizes FY 2018 Funding Recommendation: The Ad-Hoc Group for Medical Research steering committee has finalized their FY 2018 recommendation and is proposing “at least $2 billion above FY 2017 for NIH, in addition to funds included in the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives.” 

With FY 2017 funding levels still pending, presenting the recommendation in this way will allow the community to weigh in as the FY 2018 process unfolds, and also affords groups the opportunity to emphasize that Cures funding is in addition to the community’s recommendation. Official messaging is underway and ASPET is likely to sign-on.

Last updated: February 17, 2017 

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