House Proposes Fiscal Year 2025 Bills Containing Cuts, NIH Reorganization

By PAA Web posted 7 days ago


Coins on top of a U.S. dollar bill

In the final weeks of June, the subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee that are responsible for funding most of the Federal agencies that directly and indirectly support the population sciences unveiled their Fiscal Year 2025 bills. Specifically, the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the National Science Foundation and Census Bureau, and the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Health Statistics, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unveiled their Fiscal Year 2025 bills. 
Both bills, unfortunately, contain mostly unacceptable funding levels and policy provisions that would impede scientific progress and adversely affect access to high-quality Federal statistical data. Below is a summary of the bills, highlighting some of the major concerning provisions that the Population Association of America (PAA) Office of Government and Public Affairs is tracking.
The subcommittees’ bills are slated to be “marked up” or voted out by the House Appropriations Committee before mid July. The bills will then be considered by the full U.S. House of Representatives, ideally, before the House adjourns for its month-long recess in August. 
The PAA/APC Office of Government and Public Affairs is monitoring the bills and will be analyzing any changes as they move through the legislative process. PAA anticipates issuing “action alerts” to encourage PAA members to contact their U.S. Representatives to urge them to oppose passage of the bills. Please be on the lookout for these alerts and consider responding. Your voice makes a difference! Policymakers otherwise do not know how their actions impact population scientists in their districts. 

House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations

On June 27, the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved, on a party-line vote, their Fiscal Year 2025 appropriations bill. The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the bill on July 10.  Below is a summary of some of the provisions of primary interest to the PAA. 
National Institutes of Health – The bill includes a total of $48.581 billion for NIH in FY 2025, which is flat with the FY 2024 appropriation under NIH’s current structure. The bill includes pieces of a proposed NIH reform framework recently released by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would restructure the agency, consolidating its 27 institutes and centers into 15. Full details are not yet available on how exactly the bill would reorganize the NIH; however, on its surface it appears to track with the Energy and Commerce proposal, which is currently open for comments from stakeholders through August 16. PAA and the Association of Population Centers will be submitting comments to the Energy and Commerce Committee. PAA opposes the inclusion of the NIH reorganization proposal in the FY 2025 House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill given it is premature while the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight of the NIH, is still collecting feedback on a broader, potential NIH reform bill. 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – The House bill includes $7.4 billion for the CDC, a cut of $1.8 billion or nearly 20 percent below the FY 2024 enacted level and 24 percent below the President’s request. Notable directives in the bill include zeroing out funding for Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research and the Climate and Health program and cutting Global Health funding by $129 million. Details regarding funding for the National Center for Health Statistics will be released when the bill is considered by the full House Appropriations Committee on July 10. 
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – The House bill seeks to eliminate AHRQ as a stand-alone agency within HHS; as with past efforts, AHRQ functions would be consolidated within the NIH. 
Institute of Education Sciences – The House bill includes $740.4 million for the IES, the flagship research, evaluation, and statistical agency of the Department of Education, which would be a 6.6 percent decrease below FY 2024 and 9.2 percent below the Administration’s request.
Bureau of Labor Statistics – The bill would provide $630 million to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a decrease of $68 million or 9.7 percent from the FY 2024 enacted level and 11.6 percent below the Administration’s request.

House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations 

On June 25, House Republicans released the text of their proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill, which funds, among other things, the U.S. Census Bureau and National Science Foundation. The bill was approved by the CJS subcommittee on June 26. It will be considered by the full House Appropriations Committee on July 9. 
Census Bureau
The bill provides the Census Bureau with $1.354 billion—an amount that is well below both the agency’s FY 2024 funding level ($1.382 billion) and the Administration’s FY 2025 budget request ($1.6 billion).
Once again, the bill includes a provision, Section 559, that would prohibit any funds being spent to include persons “unlawfully “in the United States from the apportionment of Congress. A concerning new provision, Section 621, would prohibit enforcement of the mandatory response requirement on the decennial headcount and the American Community Survey (ACS), while also restricting the Bureau’s ability to conduct non-response follow-up operations across all of its surveys. This provision would have a devastating impact on not only the 2030 Decennial Census, but also on the ACS, the Current Population Survey, and other major surveys that have multiple follow up contact strategies to ensure complete coverage of all geographies and population subgroups. The language of both provisions is shared below.

SEC. 559. None of the funds made available by this or any other Act may be used to allow the United States Census Bureau to include aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States in rendering apportionment determinations in subsequent decennial censuses.

SEC. 621. None of the funds in this Act may be used to enforce involuntary compliance, or to inquire more than twice for voluntary compliance with any survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census.

National Science Foundation
The House bill includes a total of $9.258 billion for NSF, which would represent a $198.6 million or 2.2 percent increase over the FY 2024 enacted level. However, the House mark would still fall below the FY 2023 appropriation by 6.2 percent, failing to restore the large and unexpected cut taken to NSF last year. Notably, the House bill would cut the STEM Education Directorate (EDU) by nearly 15 percent while providing a 5.2 percent increase to the directorates within the Research and Related Activities account.