Welcome back to the SAP blog! ┬áIn this post we’re going to see an update to the FY2015 appropriations bills.


The August Congressional recess is almost over. Next week, Congress will return to DC and resume finalizing budget proposals for FY15.


As a reminder: the United States fiscal year is the 12 month period ending on September 30 of that year. The name of the fiscal year is identified as the year in which it ends. Therefore, FY15 begins Oct 1, 2014 and ends Sept 30, 2015.


If we want to avoid a government shutdown, then the FY15 budget must be finalized and passed into law by Oct 1, 2014. This means the second half of September is incredibly important.


What still needs to be done?

Source: Win McNamee/Getty Images North America

Source: Win McNamee/Getty Images North America


The House and Senate must reconcile differences between their individual appropriations bills, but the Senate has yet to pass a single spending bill of their own for the year. Of specific interest to biomedical research:


  • The Administration has requested a $272 million dollar increase to NIH for FY15, which is less than a 0.9% increase to the ~$30 billion dollar institute.


  • The House has not yet passed the Labor, HHS, and Education bill (which includes NIH) but according to subcommittee, they would request a $595 million dollar increase to NIH compared to FY14, which would be a 2% increase to NIH.


  • The equivalent Senate appropriations bill provides NIH with $30.46 billion dollars, an increase of $606 million. This funding level when combined with FY14’s appropriations would fully replace NIH funding to pre-sequester levels and is slightly more than a 2% increase in total budget.


Clearly, Congress has a lot of work ahead of them in order to pass an Appropriations bill by Oct 1. However, this situation is not uncommon for the end of September.


On the next blog post I’ll discuss what happens if appropriations are not settled by the start of the new fiscal year.


As a side note, next year the Social Security Administration will give an estimated $950 billion to disabled Americans. The NIH research budget, at ~$30 billion is only 3% of that amount.





Author: Angela N. Pierce,
Society for Neuroscience Early Career Policy Fellow

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