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Capitol Health Call
November 10, 2004

NIH Budget Battle Looms

JAMA. 2004;292(18):2205. doi:10.1001/jama.292.18.2205-a

If a bill passed on September 15 by the Senate Appropriations Committee is ultimately signed into law, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will see its budget rise 4% for fiscal year 2005 to $28.9 billion. But if a House version (endorsed by the Bush administration) carries the day, the NIH’s budget will increase by only 2.6%.

The differences in the two budgets mean a lengthy debate is expected. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology said in a statement that the amount proposed by the House bill would be the lowest percentage increase the NIH has received in almost 2 decades and, with the rising costs of research, would result in the elimination of an estimated 640 grants.