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Friday, February 5, 2016

Inside the Beltway Scoop

Members of Congress will turn their attention to fiscal year (FY) 2017 when President Barack Obama sends his proposed budget to Capitol Hill on February 9. The administration's request is expected to include more details about initiatives for federal agencies next year, including an effort to rapidly accelerate cancer research.

Following the submission of the Obama budget, lawmakers will begin working on their respective budget resolutions, which will outline overall spending priorities for FY 2017. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) confirmed the House will consider a budget resolution in early March that adheres to the $30 billion increase in discretionary spending Congress approved last October. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) announced that his panel will also produce a budget blueprint after previously saying he was not sure whether they would be able to do so.

Appropriators are also moving forward with plans to start consideration of the 12 individual spending bills in late March. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee announced the following deadlines for members of Congress to submit funding requests for specific agencies and programs:
Agency Deadline
National Institutes of Health

funded by Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill
March 24
National Science Foundation

funded by Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill
March 23
Department of Energy Office of Science

funded by Energy & Water Appropriations bill
March 15
Veterans Administration Medical Research Program

funded by Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill
March 1
Agriculture & Food Research Initiative and Agricultural Research Service

funded by Agriculture Appropriations bill
March 15

In other news, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced that rather than passing a single piece of legislation similar to the 21st Century Cures Act adopted by the House in 2015, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will consider several smaller health-related bills over the next few months. In February, the committee will vote on measures concerning electronic medical records, rare diseases, medical devices, neurological research, and a proposal from Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to improve career prospects for young researchers. On March 9, the panel is expected to debate a bill to "ensure that the NIH (National Institutes of Health) has the tools it needs to research treatments that are individualized for patients." This legislation has not been introduced yet. It is not clear what issues the HELP Committee will tackle at a meeting scheduled for April 6.
URL: http://washingtonupdate.faseb.org/inside-the-beltway-scoop-48/

Contact Person: Jennifer Zeitzer (opa@faseb.org)