The House Appropriations Committee today passed the FY20 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education legislation. The measure is a positive step forward in ensuring cutting-edge medical and public health research will continue and be further accelerated. We applaud the Committee for providing an additional $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which will advance the NIH’s foundational role in discovering answers to deadly and costly diseases. The legislation provides other beneficial and strategically significant investments, including a desperately needed increase of almost $1 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which works to protect our nation from both domestic and global health threats. It also bolstered funding by $20.2 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which leverages research to empower the right health care at the right time in the right settings, saving dollars and lives.
Importantly, however, this legislation and the Senate’s forthcoming appropriations measures cannot meet the needs and aspirations of the American people unless and until Congress and President Trump forge an agreement to raise the out of date and out of step sequestration budget caps. Instead of forward momentum, these caps drag our nation down, enabling competitor nations to outpace ours in R&D essential to health and economic security. As appropriators work to structure the FY20 budget, we call on Congressional leadership and President Trump to place a strategically sound foundation beneath it by raising the budget caps.