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US House and Senate Stimulus Bills Include Funding for Health Research

January 27, 2009--The House of Representatives and Senate released a draft of their economic stimulus packages titled The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The bills both contain $3.5 billion for NIH.  The Senate version designates more money directly to research than the House version. Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees are set to meet today to amend the bill before the full House is expected to vote on its version.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) plans to offer an amendment in Full Committee that would add $6.5B to the amount in the bill for NIH. This would bring the total to $10B for NIH.

The Senate Version includes the following amounts to the NIH and research:

  •     $2.7B for research, of which half must go to the institutes proportionally. $300M shared instrumentation
  •     $500M intramural construction

 The House version includes the following amounts to the NIH and to research:

  •     $1.5B goes to the NIH, of which half ($750 million) is not available until October 1, 2009.
  •     $1.5B to renovate or repair existing non-Federal research facilities.
  •     These funds may also be used for "shared instrumentation and other capital research equipment." Priority is to be given to applications "that are expected to generate demonstrable energy-saving or beneficial environmental effects."
  •     $500M for intramural buildings and facilities.
  •     $1.1 Billion for Comparative Effectiveness Research in the Stimulus

The House and the Senate both have designated $1.1B for comparative effectiveness research.  Of that amount;

  •     $300M is to be used by AHRQ for healthcare research, $400M is to be transferred to the NIH, and
  •     $400M will be allocated at the discretion of Secretary-Designate Daschle.

The funds, according to the Senate language is intended to "support research that evaluates and compares the clinical effectiveness, risk and benefits of two or more medical treatments and services."

We will keep you posted on the progress of this legislation.