Biden Shows Strong Commitment to Health and Science in FY22 Budget Proposal
American Society for Microbiology Commends Biden Administration for a Strong Commitment to Public Health and Science in FY 2022 Budget Proposal
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) reiterates its support for a robust investment in the agencies that fund the microbial sciences and bolster public health as detailed in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget proposal released by the Biden Administration. We call on Congress to follow suit and work in a bipartisan manner to craft FY 2022 spending bills that also reflect an unwavering commitment to addressing the most challenging threats to our country and the world through science. The proposed FY 2022 budget would strengthen basic, translational and clinical research across multiple agencies by bolstering base funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science and for research programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For NIH, the White House proposal would increase overall funding by 21% to $51,953. This includes a 6% increase of $2,517 for current programming. The additional $6.5 billion would go toward creating an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). This new function could play an important role in translating research into urgently needed capabilities for the benefit of human health. Recent initiatives such Operation Warp Speed and RadX demonstrate how focused work on urgent needs, when supported by federal funding and conducted through public-private partnerships, can lead to the development of lifesaving products and capabilities in record time. This model could prove useful in developing more effective and urgently-needed solutions to global threats like antimicrobial resistance and seasonal threats like influenza. It is important that ARPA-H be established with appropriate firewalls and budgetary safeguards to ensure that funding for the new entity does not detract from the investigator-initiated research funded by NIH institutes and centers, and that paylines are not further reduced as a result, now or in the future.
The proposal details important investments in programs ASM supports at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The overall proposal for CDC totals $8.7 billion. We commend the Administration for proposing base funding of $678 million for CDC programs under the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, which is a $30 million increase over FY 2021. The budget also calls for a $25 million increase for influenza planning and response.
Strong investments in scientific research pay strong dividends and ASM is pleased to see more details on how research focused on environmental, energy and agricultural challenges would be bolstered under the White House proposal. At USDA, the Agricultural Research Service would see a large budget increase that would carve out $192 million for work related to climate change, including standing up a new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Climate called ARPA-C. The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative would be fully funded at $700 million. The budget proposal also includes a focus on clean energy and proposes a modest increase for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science to $7.4 billion, including a $75 million boost for Biological and Environmental Research. The discretionary request proposes historic increases in funding for foundational research and development at the National Science Foundation to $9.43 billion, an increase of $1.55 billion above the FY 2021, and proposes the establishment of a new directorate for technology, innovation and partnerships within NSF to help translate research into practical applications.
Federally funded research has proven health, economic and global security benefits for the United States, and the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of these investments over the long term. Complementing the research projects are public health programs that put science into action at the state and local levels, and around the world. ASM and its more than 30,000 members look forward to working with House and Senate leaders and the Administration in the coming months to ensure we build on the work begun over the last year to bolster or nation’s public health capacity and infrastructure. We also look forward to working with leaders to ensure robust, sustained and predictable increases for federal agencies and programs that advance the microbial sciences, save lives from infectious diseases and ensure our global health security.