On April 9, President Biden released his Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 discretionary funding request. Typically, the president introduces his proposed budget in early February. It is not unusual for a new Administration’s initial budget to be delayed. However, the FY 2022 budget release is especially late given President Biden’s decision to push a COVID relief package shortly after taking office.
The request, which has been characterized as a “skinny” budget, contains very broad funding proposals for high-level federal departments and agencies and a description of some of the new Administration’s major policy priorities. More details are expected when the president releases his complete FY 2022 budget proposal before mid-May.
This initial proposal includes $769 billion for non-defense discretionary spending, a 16 percent increase over the fiscal year 2021 spending level, and $753 billion, 1.5 percent increase, for national defense funding, overall. Of interest to the Population Association of America (PAA) are provisions in the budget recommending generous funding levels for the National Institutes of Health ($51 billion, $9 billion over FY 2021 enacted level) and National Science Foundation ($10.2 billion, $1.7 billion over FY 2021 enacted level). None of the federal statistical agencies that PAA supports, however, are highlighted in the proposal.
It is important to note that the president’s proposed NIH funding increase would be largely directed towards the creation of a new agency within NIH, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). The proposal states that ARPA-H would “drive transformational innovation in health research and speed application and implementation of health breakthroughs.” The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research coalition, which PAA belongs to, issued a statement applauding the Biden Administration for prioritizing the NIH and expressing a desire to learn more about the ARPA-H initiative when the rest of the budget details are released next month.
The initial budget release also signaled the Administration’s support for directing more funds, for example, towards research, prevention, treatment, and recovery support services related to the nation’s opioid crisis and reducing maternal mortality and morbidity rates. Further, the request recommends that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention receive $8.7 billion, an increase of $1.6 billion over the agency’s FY 2021 enacted level, and provides $153 million to support a new CDC Social Determinants of Health program to support efforts of the states and territories to improve health equity and data collection for racial and ethnic populations.
The complete request is posted at: FY2022-Discretionary-Request.pdf (whitehouse.gov). The PAA Office of Government and Public Affairs will release a summary of the president’s complete FY 2022 budget request when it is unveiled in May.#FederalFunding#latest-news#GPAC2021