Spending Bill for U.S. Health Department Advances
The House Appropriations Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Thursday approved a fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS-Education bill that includes $153.7 billion in discretionary funds, a 6.2% increase from FY 2007 after adjustments and $12 billion more than President Bush requested, CongressDaily reports.
The legislation would increase the NIH budget by 1.9% to $29.35 billion in FY 2008.
House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey (D-Wis.) said that the bill would provide the largest increase in funds for NIH in four years, but advocates for the agency requested a 6.7% increase.
Obey said, "We have a federal budget deficit, but we also have a deficit in worker development, a deficit in worker safety and protection, a deficit in access to health care for families, a deficit in affordability and quality of health care, and deficits in educational access and opportunity. We can't erase those deficits in a single year."
Suzanne Nelson, vice president for federal advocacy at the American Heart Association, said, "We're really disappointed," adding, "The priority clearly wasn't medical research in this bill" (Cohn, CongressDaily, 6/8).