More Money for NIH and Pell Grants Is Approved in 2011 Spending Bill

July 15, 2010

An appropriations panel in the U.S. House of Representatives approved a spending bill Thursday evening that would provide a $1-billion increase for the National Institutes of Health and raise spending on Pell Grants by $5.7-billion in the 2011 fiscal year.

The additional Pell money would meet growing demand for the grants while preserving the maximum award of $5,550. But it would come at the expense of other student-aid programs, which would generally see no increase in funds, and the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program, which would be eliminated.

The House had previously included the additional Pell aid in a supplemental spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that measure has yet to pass the Senate.

The bill would provide $32-billion for the National Institutes of Health, an amount equal to President Obama's request for the 2011 fiscal year, which begins on October 1. In a written statement, the chairman of the House panel, Rep. David R. Obey, a Democrat of Wisconsin, said that "continued support for biomedical research" was one of the bill's priorities.

"Within limited resources, this year's bill puts the emphasis on translating basic research results into practical and available cures and treatments," he said.