ASBMB statement on Senate LHHS fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill

August 5, 2022

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology commends the fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill released by the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee last week. The bill provides $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $2 billion spread across each Institute and Center and $1 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health as a stand alone agency within NIH. The draft bill strongly illustrates the Committee’s commitment to addressing harassment in the American research enterprise, diversifying the biomedical workforce and supporting and expanding research at minority serving institutions.

We especially applaud the Senate committee for including ASBMB’s requested language to address sexual harassment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics: “The Committee directs NIH to establish a strategic plan and timeline to implement the recommendations of the 2020 NIH Workplace Climate and Harassment Survey [WCHS] and to continue to regularly conduct similar surveys and make the findings public to facilitate progress tracking and accountability.”

As we requested in our written testimony to appropriators earlier this year, the Committee also provides a targeted increase of $10 million for training programs, such as the Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers program and the Minority Access to Research Careers undergraduate program, at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences within the NIH to train and diversify the next generation of scientists. In addition, the Committee also has specifically directed $423 million to the NIH’s Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) program as we requested. These programs are critical to usher novice scientists through successive channels of specialized training and with a highly trained, diverse STEM workforce, the U.S. can better compete in scientific research globally.

Lastly, the Committee allocated a significant amount of funds to minority serving institutions, which is vital to strengthening science related programs at MSIs that serve underrepresented communities. The Committee provides a little over $1 billion to historically Black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions to “address historical inequities in higher education.” And if passed, this bill would create a research and development infrastructure investment fund for minority serving institutions to increase MSI’s capacity to conduct innovative research.

We thank Congress for continuing to support science and urge both the House and the Senate to pass the spending bills for the fiscal year 2023. We must do so quickly and prevent continuing resolutions, which significantly damage scientific progress across the country.