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Policy Corner: Finally, a Federal Budget — Cuts Affect NIH, CDC

After months of wrangling over an extended series of short-term Continuing Resolutions (CR) for much of the first half of 2011, Congress and the Obama Administration finally reached a deal to fund the federal government through the end of Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011), which will end Sept. 30, 2011. Funding for the building construction at the National Institutes of Health was reduced by $50 million, while a similar fund at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reduced by $69 million compared to the previous-year levels.

On April 15, the House cleared the final bill, HR 1473, by a vote of 260-167. Fifty-nine Republicans, including Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Dennis Rehberg, voted against the measure, while 81 Democrats supported it. (See complete vote tally.) The Senate passed the bill by a wider 81-19 vote. Fifteen Senate Republicans and four Democrats opposed the bill. President Obama signed the bill into law shortly after Senate passage, ending many weeks of standoff negotiations with House Republicans and Senate Democrats that had threatenedd to shut down federal agencies.

The final bill includes a total of $1.049 trillion in funding, a reduction of nearly $40 billion from last year’s (FY 2010) levels. This includes the $12 billion in reductions previously approved by Congress and signed into law under the previous three continuing resolutions, as well as nearly $28 billion in additional new spending cuts. The Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies section of the CR contains a total of $157.7 billion, a reduction of roughly $5.5 billion, or 3.36 percent, from FY 2010 levels. The bill is also nearly $13 billion, or 7.6 percent, below President Obama’s request for FY 2011. more

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