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Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Enacted; ASPPH Priorities Funded

On March 22 and 23, Congress approved the omnibus fiscal year 2018 spending bill. The House voted 256 – 167 to pass the bill – with 145 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting “aye” and 90 Republicans and 77 Democrats voting “nay” (view the roll call here). The Senate approved the measure by a vote of 65 – 32 (roll call here) with 23 Republicans and 9 Democrats voting against the 2,232 page bill (full text, report). President Donald Trump, signed the measure into law on March 23.

The omnibus legislation funded all of ASPPH’s appropriation priorities and provided significant increases to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources and Services Administration. The following provisions in the FY 2018 omnibus are of particular interest to academic public health. [Contact Mr. Tony Mazzaschi at for information on accounts not mentioned below.]

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The bill includes just over $37 billion in fiscal year 2018 for the NIH, a $3 billion — or 8.8 percent — increase from the previous year. This amount includes $496 million from the 21st Century Cures Act. Opioid activities will get $500 million for research on addiction as well as the development of alternatives to opioids for treatment of pain and for new addiction treatments. The bill contains a $414 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research, and $149 million in new funding for the BRAIN Initiative. Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) will receive $543 million, an increase of almost $27 million.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The omnibus includes $7.2 billion in discretionary budget authority for CDC, or about a $1.1 billion increase over fiscal 2017 enacted spending levels. Total spending at CDC would be $8.3 billion. The proposal would boost CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response programs by $45 million and provides $480 million for construction of a new biosafety lab to support biodefense research. It also gives CDC $475 million for prescription overdose prevention activities — and an increase of $350 million to help fight the opioid epidemic, with $10 million of those funds dedicated to an opioid abuse awareness campaign. Trump’s 2019 budget proposal had called for a $900 million cut to the agency. Programs of special interest to ASPPH:

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Congress provided the Health Resources and Services Administration with $7.014 billion, an increase of $553 million over the FY 2017 level. Within the HRSA account, $17 million is provided for the Public Health and Preventive Medicine line, which includes the Public Health Training Centers Program and the Preventive Medicine Residency Program. Both programs are level funded compared to FY 2017.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

The bill rejects the Trump Administration’s proposal to move AHRQ to NIH as a new institute. The bill provides AHRQ with an appropriation of $334 million, an increase of $10 million from the FY 2017 level.

Opioid Response Funding

The HHS section of the bill provides $3.6 billion to address the opioid crisis, an increase of 244 percent and $2.55 billion over the FY 2017 level. Specific allocations include:

Other Accounts Of Interest:

Education Department:

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

Overall, the EPA receives $8.06 billion in fiscal 2018, equal to the FY 2017 amount and $2.4 billion more than the Administration requested. Included in this funding:

State Department and Foreign Operations

The State Department and foreign operations programs receive $54.2 billion for fiscal 2018, $13.5 billion more than the administration requested and $3.35 billion less than the programs received in FY 2017. Within the bill:

Science Agencies:

Transportation Department: