Weekly Policy Blog: $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Spending Package Signed into Law

Updated on 1/3/2023

President Biden signed a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package into law on December 29th, narrowly averting a government shutdown.  In his tweet announcing this news, the President highlighted how the bill will “invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding – and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine.”

What’s Included in the Omnibus Spending Package? 

This 4,000+ page bill impacts life sciences in a number of ways.  The explanatory statements and bill summaries for each of the twelve appropriations bills are available here and a topline summary of all twelve bills is available here.  The package includes $47.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $9.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $1.5 billion for Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H, the President’s new initiative to fight cancer), and $950 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.  Below is a non-exhaustive list of some highlights.  

What’s In: 

The bill includes policies originally considered during User Fee Agreement negotiations.   

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be tasked with developing Accelerated Approval (AA) reforms. 
  • There are various provisions related to: clinical trial modernization and diversity, “platform” technologies for drugs and vaccines, and a new review pathway for designating advanced manufacturing technologies. 

There will be increased funding for key pandemic preparedness and public health priorities, including: 

  • The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), 
  • The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and 
  • The Strategic National Stockpile. 
  • Many of the provisions from the proposed PREVENT Pandemics Act are included as well. 

There are several provisions related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR): 

  • Antifungal Research and Development (commonly known as the FORWARD Act), 
  • Advancing Qualified Infectious Disease Product Innovation (from the PREVENT Pandemics Act), and  
  • CDC Laboratory Capacity. 

What’s Out: 

  • The Verifying Accurate Leading-edge In Vitro Clinical Tests (IVCTs) Development (VALID) Act 
  • The Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions to End Up-Surging Resistance Act (PASTEUR Act
  • The Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act (MCED
  • Changes to the Section 174 rules requiring capitalization and amortization of research and experimentation (R&E) expenses 

While we are disappointed that these key bills did not make it into this omnibus package, we are appreciative of the life sciences community’s advocacy and are hopeful that this legislation may proceed next year. 

What’s Next? 

CBSA will continue to keep a close eye on federal developments and will work with national partners to build on the momentum generated by this year’s progress going into the 118th Congress. 

Categories: CBSA News