Jun 28 2018

Appropriations Committee Approves Blunt-Led Bill to Increase NIH Funding, Fight Opioid Epidemic, Support Students, & Prepare the Workforce

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), released the following statement today after the full committee approved the FY2019 Labor/HHS appropriations bill.

“This bill prioritizes resources for programs that touch the lives of every American and address the biggest challenges facing our nation,” said Blunt. “Working within the limits of the budget agreement, we were able to continue our commitment to advancing medical research, fighting the opioid epidemic, improving rural health care, and ensuring students have the education and job training to be successful. These are all areas where federal investment is needed to strengthen communities, promote economic growth, and increase U.S. competitiveness.”

The committee-approved bill includes the fourth consecutive increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), bringing the total NIH increase to $9 billion, or 30 percent, under Blunt’s chairmanship. The bill increases funding for states to combat the opioid epidemic and focuses resources on hard-hit rural areas.  As chairman, Blunt has increased funding for health-related opioid programs by $3.4 billion, nearly a 1,300 percent increase. The bill supports students of all ages – from maintaining record funding levels for Child Care and Development Block Grants to increasing the maximum Pell Grant award for college students. The bill also supports apprenticeship training and other programs to provide workers the skills they need to succeed in a 21st century economy.

Blunt continued, “To continue making the programs in this bill a priority, we can’t afford to waste taxpayer dollars where they aren’t needed or aren’t working. This measure continues efforts to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse, which will save taxpayers billions over the next decade. I’m proud we were, for the third year in a row, able to come together to advance a bipartisan bill. I hope to see the full Senate have the opportunity to consider this bill through the regular order process.”

Following Are Additional Details on the Programs Funded in the Bill: