On October 18, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee released its remaining draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 appropriations bills, including the Commerce, Justice, Science and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bills, which together fund most federal agencies that directly and indirectly support the population sciences. In a typical year, the committee would have acted on the bills many months ago. However, procedural and political delays conspired to prevent the Committee from acting on all but 3 of their 12 annual appropriations bills before FY 2021 ended on September 30. By releasing their remaining draft bills, the Senate Appropriations Committee indicated their willingness to negotiate with leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on final FY 2022 appropriations measures.
Below is a table summarizing the funding levels that the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have proposed for the agencies most important to the population sciences. Ideally, the House and Senate will negotiate final spending levels for all federal agencies, that President Biden can approve and sign into law, before December 3 when the current continuing resolution expires.
The Population Association of America (PAA) and the Association of Population Centers (APC), especially as members of several DC-based coalitions, will continue to urge Congress to recommend the highest level of funding for all of our federal agencies of interest in the final FY 2022 appropriations bills.
FY 2022 House Funding
FY 2022 Senate Funding
National Institutes of Health
National Center for Health Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Institute of Education Sciences
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
National Science Foundation
In addition to funding, reports accompanying the bills included language regarding population research. PAA and APC are pleased that the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee included report language praising population research programs supported by the National Institute on Aging and National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. PAA and APC thank Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), who are the Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, for adopting the language (see below).
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Population Research—The Committee applauds NICHD for supporting many of the Nation’s most used prospective, population representative longitudinal studies, including Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Supplement Survey, and National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and also for supporting research and research training through the NICHD Population Dynamics Centers Research Infrastructure Program. Given the dearth of data being collected regarding the short and long-term social, economic, developmental, and health effects of the COVID–19 pandemic on children and families, the Committee encourages NICHD to consider expanding data collection and research through these existing surveys and the Centers Program. Further, the Committee encourages the Institute to explore the use of existing and new mechanisms to enhance research regarding the effect of COVID–19 on fertility trends and reproductive health overall. Finally, the Committee urges NICHD to expand data collection and research regarding maternal, infant, child, and adolescent mortality.
National Institute on Aging
Population Research—The Committee praises NIA for supporting a scientifically innovative population aging research portfolio that reflects some of the Institute’s, and nation’s, highest scientific priorities including Alzheimer’s disease and social inequality in health and the aging process. More research, however, is needed to understand the short and long-term social, behavioral, and economic health consequences of COVID–19 on older people and their families, which NIA is uniquely positioned to foster and support. Existing large-scale, longitudinal and panel surveys, such as the Health and Retirement Study, the National Health and Aging Trends Study, and Understanding America Study, should be enhanced to facilitate scientific research on the complex, multifaceted effects of the pandemic on older, diverse populations. Further, the Committee encourages NIA to support the further development of data infrastructure to promote research on racial, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic disparities in health and well-being in later life and the long-term effects of early life experiences, including for rural, poor and minority populations that may be at enhanced risk for dementia. The Committee urges NIA to continue to support diversity in its cohort studies, with the specific goal of better understanding disease burden and biomarkers by race and geographic region, as well as the underlying pathologies which may differ by race or ethnicity. The Committee believes this could be accomplished through enhanced partnerships between existing NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers [ADRC] and non-ADRC dementia centers in high-risk geographic regions or through the creation of new long-term cohorts in under-represented groups/regions.
More details regarding the FY 2022 Senate appropriations bills is available in a recent analysis released by the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) of which PAA is a governing member.