The official ACTS newsletter that reports on issues of importance to members, including news about membership, advocacy updates and grant opportunities.
Thus far, House and Senate appropriations have stuck to their ambitious timeline for moving Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 spending bills forward to passage and enactment. Both chambers have been hosting hearings with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies for funding feedback and priorities discussion. Both chambers have also invited outside organizations to provide testimony of funding recommendations and key programs as well, and CCTS has actively participated in this process. Currently, the House plans to begin marking up annual appropriations bills ahead of the August recess and appropriations continue to express a commitment to finalize the FY 2023 measures at the end of the year. This year, Acting NIH Director Dr. Larry Tabak represented NIH before Congress and provided NIH’s testimony. Dr. Tabak outlined a handful of key priorities during the recent hearings. In this regard, Dr. Tabak discussed ongoing investment and emerging programs in health equity and the reinvigoration of the Cancer Moonshot. Dr. Tabak also discussed the emerging Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) initiative, but details surrounding program implementation and direction continue to be sparse. Lawmakers across the board have publicly rejected the administration’s request for significant FY 2023 ARPA-H funding and limited additional funding for NIH and continue to express a preference for the balanced approach of providing dedicated resources for both ARPA-H and NIH. A number of high-profile legislative efforts remain stuck in Congress, including popular pandemic preparedness legislation and $10 billion in emergency supplemental COVID funding. However, the House and Senate have both been working on “must pass” legislation to modernize the Food and Drug Administration and reauthorize user-fees. It is unclear at this time if the effort will attract other public health and research provisions or if it will need to be a “clean” bill limited in scope to secure the necessary bipartisan support to pass.