As this extremely challenging appropriations process continues, two very different budgets have emerged. The Senate has a top-line budget that is $91 billion higher than the House and assumes that sequestration is replaced. The House, on the other hand, is working at a level below the spending caps mandated by the Budget Control Act. The House budget also factors in sequestration. The end result is that the two chambers are producing individual appropriation bills with very different spending levels.
At the time of this writing, the House Labor-HHS appropriations subcommittee has not marked up a bill, but we know the subcommittee's allocation is 18.6% lower than FY13 and nearly 26% lower than the Senate's. If this reduction is applied evenly to all accounts under the subcommittee's jurisdiction, the funding level put forward by the House for theNational Institutes of Health, for instance, would be approximately $23.5 billion; the Senate markup budgeted $30.96 billion for NIH. If the House and the Senate compromise by agreeing on numbers that are somewhere between the two, then the federal health research agencies are bound to sustain another round of dramatic cuts.