U.S. House Funding Applauded for Addressing Infectious Diseases but Still Comes up Short on AMR, Leaving it up to the Senate to Address
The Infectious Diseases Society of America commends appropriators in the U.S. House of Representatives for much-needed resources to bolster the domestic and global fight against COVID-19 and HIV, antibiotic research and development, strengthen global health security, and combat the effects of the opioid crisis.
The bill provides a $488 million increase for $6.557 billion in overall funding for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, to spur biomedical research on antimicrobial resistance, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious diseases, and resources to support and help diversify the ID research workforce. In addition, House appropriators provided a $823 million in overall funding for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which will help galvanize the shrinking antibiotic pipeline and support the development of other key medical countermeasures.
While IDSA is grateful for the modest increases for the CDC Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, the National Healthcare Safety Network, and the Advance Molecular Detection program, which each received increases of $5 million over FY2021 funding, the crisis of antimicrobial resistance warrants additional funding for all three programs to support AMR prevention, detection, tracking and response. These efforts complement AMR research and innovation supported by NIAID and BARDA and ensure a comprehensive approach to AMR. As the appropriations process moves to the U.S. Senate, it is critical that key government programs addressing this public health crisis receive even more funding for FY2022.
Specifically, the U.S. House of Representatives full appropriations committee passed on July 15 the Labor, Health, and Human Services funding package. This includes a total of $10.6 billion for CDC — an increase of $2.7 billion above the FY2021 enacted level and $1 billion above the President’s budget request. Budget increases within that include:
- $843 million for the Center for Global Health,a $250 million increase over FY2021 funding (this includes $448 million for global health security);
- $177 million for the Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, a $5 million increase over FY2021;
- $26 million in funding for the National Healthcare Safety Network, a $5 million increase over FY2021;
- $35 million in funding for the Advanced Molecular Detection initiative, a $5 million increase over FY2021;
- $69.5 million for infectious diseases and opioid activities at the agency, a $56.5 million increase over FY2021;
- $100 million for the agency public health workforce efforts, which would enable CDC to double the number of Epidemic Intelligence Service fellows, ensuring placement of a fellow in every state;
- $1.501 billion in funding for the Division ofHIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Tuberculosis, a $81 million increase over FY2021;
- $718 million for the agency’s Immunization Program, a $99.9 million increase over FY2021;
- $72.72 million for the agency’s Quarantine Program, a $30 million increase over FY2021;
- $150 million, an increase of $100 million above the FY2021 enacted level, to modernize public health data surveillance and analyticsat CDC and State and local health departments.
Other health-related funding includes:
- $6.557 billion to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseasesat the National Institutes of Health, a $488 million increase over the FY2021 enacted level;
- $96 million to the NIH’s John C. Fogarty International Center, $12 million over the FY2021 enacted level;
- $823 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a $226 million increase over the FY2021 enacted level.
In addition, the U.S. House of Representatives full appropriations committee commendably passed on July 1 the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which includes a number of important increases for IDSA’s global health priorities. This includes:
- $810 million increase for USAID’s global health security program, which represents a massive increase over FY2021 enacted levels and surpasses the President’s requested increase for the program;
- $150 million increase for USAID’s global tuberculosis program, which represents a 47 percent increase over FY2021 enacted levels and the largest increase for the program ever;
- $150 million increase for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Reliefwhich is the largest increase in recent years. While the increase falls short of the global HIV community’s recommendation, additional resources will strengthen the U.S. global HIV response in the face of the pandemic’s impacts on the global HIV epidemic;
- $50 million for USAID’s malaria program, representing a much-needed increase to respond to the pandemic’s impacts on malaria control efforts;
- $185 million increase for family planning and reproductive health accountswhich represents a substantial 32 percent increase over FY2021 enacted funding;
- A permanent repeal of the global gag rulewhich prohibits U.S. funding from going to foreign organizations that provide information, referrals or services for legal abortion, even if they use non-U.S. funding for such activities. Global health advocates have long held that this policy blocks access to healthcare, undermines reproductive rights globally and ultimately weakens efforts to control HIV globally.
IDSA will continue to call on Congress to build a healthier world and a safer nation, with support for the vision exemplified by these appropriations bills, and by filling the gaps it leaves, with the funding our global and domestic health security and progress will require.