Senate Passes Funding Bill That Includes Durbin Priority Of Increased Medical Research Funding

Durbin has secured $10 billion increase in NIH funding over the last five years

CHICAGO – The U.S. Senate passed the Defense-Labor-HHS-Education appropriations “minibus” package yesterday, which included a $2 billion, or 5.4 percent, increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.  Over the past five years, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) has worked to provide NIH with $10 billion in increased funding, a 34 percent increase.  Within this amount, the bill provides an increase for every NIH Institute and Center, including a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research and a $190 million increase for cancer research.  For the past two years, the Senate has rejected President Trump’s budget proposals, which would have cut NIH’s budget by 18 percent in FY18 and 6.2 percent in FY19.  Last fiscal year, Illinois received more than $800 million in NIH funding.

“Securing real increases for our nation’s biomedical research agencies is one of my top priorities.  In order to make a real difference, investments to our medical research agencies must be sustained year after year. They cannot, and should not, be one- or two-time occurrences.  That is why the Senate’s continued commitment to the NIH is so vital.  We have created a new standard that I hope continues for generations to come,” said Durbin.

In March 2017, Durbin introduced the American Cures Act, which would, annually, provide five percent funding increases for NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense Health Program (DHP), and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program.