Budget Agreement Includes $2 Billion in New Funding for Biomedical Research Following Decades-Long Effort Led by U.S. Senator Susan Collins

Agreement also includes funding for shipbuilding at BIW, off-shore wind research at University of Maine, agricultural research, and opioid abuse programs

Washington, D.C. - The bipartisan budget agreement reached Sunday night, which will fund the government at updated levels through the end of September, includes $34.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $2 billion increase over last year’s funding level. This $2 billion increase builds on last year’s $2 billion increase, which represented the largest funding boost the NIH had received in more than a decade. The agreement also includes additional priorities championed by U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee.

“I have long worked to secure significant investments for biomedical research that will help us conquer so many devastating diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s—our nation’s most costly disease. This $2 billion increase in funding for the NIH, including $400 million for Alzheimer’s, will spur important research that is already underway to develop treatments, means of prevention, and cures for diseases that affect nearly every American family.

“This budget agreement also includes funding for proven economic development and job creation programs that I have long championed such as TIGER grants, which have provided Maine with $122 million to rebuild bridges, highways, and other vital infrastructure projects across the state, and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which has helped a number of Maine communities improve their downtowns and expand economic opportunities. The agreement makes investments in our young people by reinstating year-round Pell Grants; supporting the TRIO program, and investing in initiatives to reduce youth homelessness.

“The budget deal is also great news for the hardworking men and women at BIW. In addition to providing greater long-term certainty, this legislation includes an additional $433 million I worked hard to secure for the construction of an additional Arleigh Burke class destroyer (DDG-51) that is likely to be awarded to BIW.

“Finally, the agreement includes a provision providing much needed relief to the cap on H-2B visas, which are heavily relied upon by Maine’s tourism and hospitality businesses that are in need of seasonal, temporary workers beyond the number that they can hire in our state and region. This provision, which I pushed for, will help small businesses thrive, protect American workers, and expand economic opportunities for local residents.”

The budget agreement will be considered by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday, with a likely vote in the House on Wednesday and a vote in the Senate later this week.