The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a bill that would fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $31 billion, a $307 million increase from the fiscal year (FY) 2013 enacted level. Although the suggested funding is $147 million less than President’s request, it is well above NIH’s current funding level after budget sequestration is accounted for.

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chair of the Appropriations Committee, called attention to outcomes of previous investments in NIH, including eradication of polio and small pox, and decreased cancer death rates. “These medical breakthroughs didn’t just happen, they occurred because this Committee supported NIH, and the NIH supported dedicated scientists who sought knowledge and medical breakthroughs,” stated Senator Mikulski. “We must keep up this support.”

The legislation would provide $40 million for President Obama’s brain research initiative. The initiative, announced earlier this year, aims to find new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.

Additionally, the bill will expand public access to research funded by federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control. These agencies would be required to develop a public access policy that makes peer-reviewed manuscripts available online within 12 months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. This provision would only pertain to federal agencies that are funded within the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.


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