The latest policy and advocacy updates related to the field of clinical and translational science.
Congress continued to move the annual budget and appropriations process forward. The House closed its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 member request submission opportunity at the end of April and also held a virtual Outside Witness Hearing for funding recommendations and priorities within the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) appropriations bill. The Coalition for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) submitted written outside witness testimony requesting meaningful funding increases for key federal programs and highlighting the contemporary efforts of various CTSA hubs.
The primary complication to FY 2022 spending activities is the ongoing delay in the release of the Biden/Harris administration’s first budget request. The “skinny” budget indicated large funding increases for NIH, CDC, and other agencies and broadly outlined the new ARPA-H medical research initiative. The official budget request is expected to include details and specifics, but continues to be pushed-back. Currently, the leaders of NIH, CDC, and other federal health programs are slated to testify in front of appropriators, but without a budget request to defend the hearings may be light on details.
The Senate has marked out a slower and more deliberative process. At this time, member request deadlines will occur in early July and the opportunity to submit written L-HHS testimony is toward the end of June. The timeline currently indicates that spending bills markups will likely take place in the fall and a Continuing Resolution will be essential to keep the government operating past October 1st while final spending bills are negotiated. Large funding increases continue to be on-the-table for medical research and public health programs, which has advocates hoping for a smooth FY 2022 appropriations process.