An administration official acknowledged in a call with reporters that medical research has remained a darling of Congress for years.
“We’ve been very careful to focus this request on the needs that we have immediately and on pieces of the Covid response that have earned bipartisan support in the past,” the administration official said.
Appropriators increased the NIH’s budget by about 50% since 2015, with support from both parties.
“We’re absolutely confident that we can make our case to Congress and that they need to step up and do their part,” the official added.
“It could be less contentious to try to advance R&D funding than other types of funding, but unfortunately securing passage of this supplemental may well be a vertical climb regardless of which needs it is geared toward fulfilling,” Ellie Dehoney, vice president of policy and advocacy for Research!America, said.
While the biggest ticket items in the Covid supplemental request focus on research and development, Dehoney doesn’t think it will impact other funding streams, such as the fiscal 2023 spending bill for biomedical research that lawmakers hope to finalize by the end of the year.