Senate Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2023 Spending Bills: NIH Population Research Programs Praised

By PAA Web posted 08-08-2022 12:40

  

On July 28, the Senate Appropriations Committee released all 12 of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations bills and reports. While the Senate Appropriations Committee is not planning to take up the bills through the regular committee process, the release of the Senate bills allows House and Senate appropriators to begin talks and, hopefully, work toward enactment of final FY 2023 spending measures in the fall.

Included in the 12 Senate appropriations bills are two measures important to the population research community. Together, these bills—Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS)—fund most of the federal agencies that directly and indirectly support the population sciences, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), National Institutes of Health (NH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Overall, the Senate proposed funding levels are slightly lower than the House recommended levels due to an ongoing debate over how much, overall, non-defense and defense-related agencies should receive. Below is a table summarizing and comparing the House and Senate’s funding recommendations for agencies that are priorities for the PAA.

Like the House Appropriations Committee, the report accompanying the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill also includes language praising population research programs supported by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This language (see below), which PAA advocated for during its recent 2022 Virtual Advocacy Day, promotes greater awareness and understanding of NIA-and-NICHD-supported population research activities and findings and helps to ensure the Institutes will remain committed to their population research portfolios.

In addition, the report accompanying the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill includes, among other things:

  • Language encouraging the ongoing development of a new National Longitudinal Survey of Youth cohort;
  • An increase in the sample size of the National Health Interview Survey;
  • Calls to encourage increased funding for the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science;
  • Language urging the Department of Education to implement recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences to support the National Center for Education Statistics.

The report accompanying the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bills includes language that, among other things:

  • Praises the NSF Social, Behavioral and Economic Directorate;
  • Encourages support for the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and Population Estimates program;
  • Urges the Census Bureau to consult census stakeholders “regularly” as it works to develop disclosure avoidance methods.

The current fiscal year, FY 2022, ends on September 30. If the House and Senate do not reach an agreement on FY 2023 spending measures by that date, Congress and the Administration will need to enact a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open and functioning. The PAA Office of Government and Public Affairs will keep members apprised.

Agency

House FY 2023 recommendation

Senate FY 2023 Recommendation

AHRQ

$385 million

$385.4 million

BLS

$726 million

$723.5 million

Census Bureau

$1.5 billion

$1.48 billion

IES

$844 million

$831.4 million

NCHS

$190 million

$190.3 million

NIH

$47.5 billion

$47 billion

NSF

$9.63 billion

$10.3 billion

 

 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Population Research.—The Committee congratulates NICHD for leading efforts to promote research regarding the effects of COVID– 19 on child development and health disparities. The Committee encourages NICHD to sustain these research priorities through its support of the Population Dynamics Research Centers Program and population-representative longitudinal datasets, such as the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, Baby’s First Years, Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Supplement Survey, and National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The Committee urges NICHD to engage the population research field to develop informed frameworks for conceptualizing and measuring social determinants of health, including structural racism. The Committee also encourages NICHD to support research exploring the direct and indirect effects of COVID–19 on reproductive health, marriage, and divorce and to expand research and data collection on mortality, especially during adolescence and the transition to adulthood. Within 90 days of enactment of this act, the Committee requests a report on the Institute’s efforts to address these priority areas.

National Institute on Aging

Population Research.—The Committee recognizes NIA for supporting a robust population aging research portfolio within its Division of Behavioral and Social Research and encouraging enhanced collaborations between DBSR and the Institute’s other scientific research divisions. The Committee is pleased to learn these collaborations include, for example, integrating the population sciences into the Institute’s Geroscience research agenda and initiatives regarding Alzheimer’s disease and the long-term social, behavioral, and economic consequences of COVID–19 on older people and their families. Continued support for large-scale, longitudinal, and representative studies, such as Health and Retirement Study and the National Health and Aging Trends Study, the Centers on the Demography and Economics of Aging, research networks, training grants, and early career opportunities are needed to sustain and enhance the field of population aging research. The Committee asks NIA to report to the Committees on Appropriations on its plans for ensuring long-term investment and support for population aging research activities within 90 days of enactment.


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