Durbin's Cures Act Sets Standard for Increased Biomedical Research Funding in Omnibus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016 dramatically increases overall funding for breakthrough scientific and biomedical research based on targeted funding levels set by Durbin’s  American Cures Act. In total, the bill includes nearly $42 billion in funding to support the research at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Defense Health Program, and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program.


“With the support of robust, sustained federal funding, there is no limit to what science can do to prevent, treat and cure diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s,” Durbin said. “The increase in funding for breakthrough research included in this bill is a down payment on that future. If we continue making those investments, we’ll see our nation’s best and brightest researchers light up the scoreboard.”


The Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016 increases funding for cutting edge biomedical research conducted at the nation’s following premier federal research agencies:


  • National Institutes of Health: $32.08 billion in funding;


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: $7.23 billion in funding;




In 2012, fifty-three percent of all funding for basic research came from the federal government. Yet as a percentage of the total federal budget, the federal government spends two-thirds less on research and development today than it did in 1965. At NIH – the foremost biomedical research institute in the world – the percentage of research grants that receive funding has declined almost every year for the past 10 years. The lack of funding has led to a $1.5 trillion investment deficit and a growing number of America’s best young researchers are taking their talents to other industries – and other countries.


For several years, Durbin has championed increased investment to reverse this trend.  Durbin authored The American Innovation Act and The American Cures Act to set steady growth rates in federal appropriations for biomedical and scientific research conducted at the nation’s premier federal research agencies.


The American Innovation Act would provide annual budget increases of 5 percent – over and above inflation – for cutting edge research at five important federal research agencies: The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Directorate. More information on the bill is available here.


The American Cures Act would set a steady growth rate in federal appropriations for biomedical research conducted at NIH, CDC, DHP, and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. Each year, the bill would increase funding for each agency and program at a rate of GDP-indexed inflation plus 5 percent. This steady, long-term investment would allow the agencies to plan and manage strategic growth while maximizing efficiencies. More information on the bill is available here.