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Alexander: Senate Approves Fourth Straight Year of Record Funding for Biomedical Research at National Institutes of Health

Bipartisan legislation also provides $3.7 billion for programs to help address the opioid epidemic, such as increased access to medication-assisted treatment in Tennessee, and raises the maximum Pell grant to help more students afford higher education

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 23, 2018 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the Senate passed a bill that provides the fourth straight year of record funding in a regular appropriations bill for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, $3.7 billion to help fight the opioid epidemic, and raises the maximum Pell grant to $6,195 to help more students afford higher education.

“For the fourth straight year, the Senate has provided record funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health—$2 billion additional dollars in the first year, $2 billion the second year, $3 billion the third year, and $2 billion this year, which is a 30% increase over the last four years. As a result of investing in our biomedical research, we will have more access to life-changing treatments and cures, and see more medical miracles.”

“I continue to urge President Trump to make science and research part of his ‘America First’ agenda. The president has already signed into law two consecutive bills that provide record funding for science, technology, energy and biomedical research, and this legislation will build on that.”

On opioid crisis funding: “Senate passage of this legislation is also a step in the right direction for our country’s ongoing fight against the opioid crisis. This legislation provides $3.7 billion for programs aimed at putting an end to opioid abuse, including $500 million for NIH research to develop non-addictive pain medicines, and $1.5 billion for State Opioid Response Grants, originally authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act. These grants will fund prevention activities, training for health care practitioners, and increase access to medication-assisted treatment in states like Tennessee.”

On charter school and education funding: “The bill also provides $445 million for our nation’s charter schools, which give teachers more freedom and parents more choices—and give students a real opportunity to attend a good school that’s right for them. Additionally, the legislation provides a $125 million increase for each of the three largest K-12 education funding accounts that would allow states to provide better education to disadvantaged students, support academic enrichment, and provide services for special education.  The bill also raises the maximum Pell grant to $6,195 to help more students afford higher education.”

The Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Appropriations bill includes:

  • $39.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • $562 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
  • $3.7 billion for programs to combat opioid abuse. 
  • $445 million for Charter Schools.
  • $15.9 billion for Title I Grants to local education agencies.
  • $1.2 Billion for Title IV-A Student Supports and Academic Enrichment Grants.
  • $160 million for apprenticeship grants.

Today, the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which is consistent with the spending limits set by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 approved by Congress, and signed by President Trump, in February.