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Public Policy Newsletter Article

House Passes First FY 2021 Appropriations Measures

  • 2020-07-30T15:00:00.000+0000
  • Washington DC
  • Author: Laure Fabrega

On July 14, the House passed its first set of appropriation measures, a package of four bills combined in H.R. 7608. The bill passed by a 224-189 vote. The four measures are Agriculture-FDA, Interior-Environment, MilCon-VA, and State-Foreign Ops.

Of interest to the life science industry, the Ag-FDA measure, H.R. 7610, would provide $3.21 billion in discretionary funding for the FDA, an increase of $40.8 million from FY2020. The measure would focus on initiatives to improve response times to foodborne illness outbreaks and improve medical device safety and cybersecurity.

The House is also expected to vote on a second minibus this week, H.R.7617, which would include C-J-S, Defense, Energy & Water, Financial Services, Labor-HHS-Education, and Transportation-HUD. The Labor-HHS measure, H.R. 7614, contains funding for important health agencies, including $42 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $300 million increase from FY2020, and $8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), same funding level as the previous year.

The measure also provides additional emergency funding to address the covid-19 pandemic, including $9 billion for the CDC, including $4 billion for a vaccination campaign, $5 billion for the NIH, $5 billion for the Public Health Emergency Fund, and $4.5 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), including $3.5 billion for advanced research, production, and purchase of vaccines. It also requires HHS to report weekly to Congress for the length of the pandemic on the inventory of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
Note that while all of the House appropriation measures have been approved at the subcommittee and committee levels, the Senate hasn’t taken any action on appropriation bills at this time.