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President Obama Unveils His FY 2016 Budget

The Coalition for the Life Sciences (CLS) applauds President Obama's 2016 budget proposal that supports the critical research taking place at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), and supports his calls to replace sequestration.

After years of flat funding for the NIH and minimal increases for NSF, this budget reflects an encouraging first step toward restoring the resources necessary to grow the scientific enterprise. At a time of unprecedented scientific opportunity, it is critical that the United States make forward-thinking investments that promote medical breakthroughs as well as our international leadership in biomedical research.

Over the past decade, our nation's investment in NIH has often fallen short of what is needed to meet our research needs. Since 2003, Congressional appropriations for our nation's greatest research institution have stagnated and failed to keep pace with inflation. The CLS strongly supports a steady, sustained investment in federally funded biomedical research and will be working with Congress to ensure continued support for the NIH and NSF.

Here are the highlights of President Obama's budget request for FY16:

NIH
The President seeks to boost the NIH and recommended a funding level of $31.3 billion. According to the White House budget reports and agency highlights, some of the priorities included in the $31.3 billion are as follows:

  • $135 million for NIH's contribution to the BRAIN Initiative.
  • $450 million for the NIH's support on combating antibiotic resistance (part of a $1.2 billion government-wide plan).
  • $200 million for the NIH to spend on precision medicine in FY16.
  • An additional $51million for Alzheimer's Disease research in FY16, for an estimated total of $638 million.
  • $660.1 million for the National Center for Advancing Translation Sciences.

According to budget materials, NIH estimates the proposal will allow for approximately 10,300 new and competing renewal research project grants, an increase of more than 1,200 over the current year.

NSF
The President requests $7.7 billion for NSF, a $379 million increase over the FY15 level. For research and related activities, the president's budget requests $6.2 billion, a $253 million increase over FY15.