There is still a strong chance that Congress will pass an FY17 omnibus bill rather than resort to continued flat-funding under a year-long continuing resolution (CR). We understand that the pending FY17 omnibus includes a $2 billion increase for NIH, as well as increases for CDC, NSF and FDA.
As for FY18, President Trump released his “skinny budget” blueprint which proposes cuts to NIH and other research agencies. It also recommends elimination of the Fogarty International Center at NIH, and AHRQ would be incorporated into the Institutes. Additionally, the proposal would reduce the federal government’s financial stake in FDA and cut the budget line for “Other Agencies” -- which includes NSF -- by nearly 10%.
The opioid crisis remains a major focus for both the White House and Congress. Recently, the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing regarding the federal response to the crisis. The President has established a task force charged with accelerating our nation’s offensive against this public health threat.
Scott Gottlieb, M.D., has been nominated to serve as FDA Commissioner. The Senate HELP Committee held a hearing on Dr. Gottlieb’s nomination on April 5. The Committee is expected to vote on Dr. Gottlieb’s nomination during the last week in April or in early May.
The House and Senate have convened several FDA hearings to consider the FDA user fee reauthorization bills. Members of Congress are working to pass these bills expeditiously; FDA estimates that between 30% and 70% of employees could receive Reduction in Force (RIF) notices if the bills are not signed into law by July 31