House Appropriations Committee Advances Spending for Brain Disorder Research and Treatment

Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee passed two bills with funding for the research and treatment of brain disorders.

On Monday, the Committee passed the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill, including $100 million for the BRAIN Initiative. The BRAIN Initiative is intended to revolutionize the understanding of the human brain, helping researchers understand more about brain disorders and accelerate the development and applicative of innovative technologies to treat, cure, and prevent brain disorders. The bill also included $2.5 billion in funding for NINDS and $2.1 billion for NIMH, an increase from FY2020 of $40 million and $37 million respectively. Finally, the bill also included $5 billion in emergency funding to support biomedical research, including support for current grantees to cover the shutdown costs, startup costs, and other costs related to delays in research in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill also included report language relating to a wide variety of brain-related issues and disorders, including ALS, brain aneurysm, chronic fatigue syndrome, dystonia, headache disorders, multiple sclerosis, myotonic dystrophy, opioid use disorder, peripheral neuropathies, sleep disorders, stroke, autism, and traumatic brain injury. The bill also included several provisions tied to animal research, including encouraging NIH to incentivize non-animal research methods and expressing concern about the use of nonhuman primates in biomedical research. ABC will continue to advocate for the ethical use of animals in biomedical research.

A summary of highlights can be found here.

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, including $8.5 billion in funding for the National Science Foundation, representing a $270 million increase over FY2020 appropriation. Of the $8.5 billion, nearly $7 billion is allocated for research and related activities – a $230 million increase over the FY2020 appropriation.

The full House of Representatives is expected to vote on the LHHS and CJS appropriations bills within the next two weeks. The Senate has not indicated when it intends to consider FY2021 appropriations bills, leaving open the possibility of a continuing resolution later this year.