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Senate Appropriations Committee Releases FY 2022 Spending Bills Addressing SGO Research Priorities

News Article
Oct 27, 2021

This week the Senate Appropriations Committee released nine Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 spending bills, including the bill funding the Department of Defense and the bill funding the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and related agencies, which completes the Committee’s work on all 12 spending bills that fund the federal government. Negotiations will soon begin between Congressional Democrats, Republicans, and the Administration to hammer out final FY 2022 spending levels for federal programs. The following is a breakdown of the Senate recommendations on SGO’s research priorities.

Ovarian Cancer Research: The Senate Defense Appropriations bill provides $15 million for the Department of Defense (DoD) Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP), which represents a $20 million program decrease from the current FY 2021 funding level of $35 million. Please note that each year the Senate usually proposes a $10 million funding level for the OCRP, and the House has traditionally proposed larger funding levels, including this year, with the House approval of a $10 million increase, resulting in a $45 million funding level for the DoD OCRP in FY 2022. As SGO has done in previous years, we will need to launch a strong advocacy effort during the negotiations process to retain the unprecedented $45 million funding for the DoD OCRP approved by the House.

Endometrial Cancer Research:  The Senate Appropriations Committee released the Committee report accompanying the FY 2022 Defense Appropriations bill containing SGO’s request to list endometrial cancer as a research priority under the DoD Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program for FY 2022.  The House Defense Committee Report also lists endometrial cancer as a research priority under this program.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding – The Senate FY 2022 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill includes a total of $45.522 billion for the NIH base budget, a $2.6 billion (6%) increase over the comparable FY 2021 level. The bill also would provide $2.4 billion for the President Biden’s proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), for a total of $47.9 billion for NIH overall. The Committee’s press release states this funding level represents an increase of $5 billion or a 12% spread across every Institute and Center to advance science and speed the development of new therapies, diagnostics, and preventive measures. The House passed its FY 2022 Labor-HHS spending bill in July, including $46.434 billion for the NIH base budget in FY 2022 (an increase of $3.5 billion above the 2021 enacted level), as well as $3 billion for ARPA-H.

National Cancer Institute (NCI) – The Senate Committee has proposed the following for the NCI in FY 2022:


Senate Committee recommendation……………………………………………$ 6,772,469,000

House Recommendation …………………………………………………………… $6,992,056,000

President’s Budget request, fiscal year 2022 ……………………………….. $6,733,302,000

Appropriation, fiscal year 2021 ………………………………………………….. $6,559,852,000


The Senate Committee supported SGO’s request to prioritize research on disparities in gynecologic cancers by including the language below in the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Committee report, which is similar to language contained in the House Labor-HHS-Education Committee Report:

Gynecologic Cancers – The Committee continues to be concerned about the growing racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities in gynecologic cancers. In contrast to most other common cancers in the United States, relative survival for women with newly diagnosed advanced cervical or endometrial cancer has not significantly improved since the 1970s. Furthermore, historical data demonstrates that Black and Latinx women with gynecologic cancers are not as likely to receive standard therapy and/or die more frequently. The current COVID–19 pandemic has only exacerbated the healthcare disparities that were already present in minority and underrepresented communities. For example, in early 2021 the CDC published findings that cervix cancer screenings in California decreased by as much as 78% during the pandemic—and have not recovered. They specifically noted concern because ‘‘cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates are disproportionately higher in Hispanic women and non-Hispanic Black women.’’ Therefore, the Committee encourages the NCI to continue to support programs, projects, clinical trials, research grants, and contract opportunities for investigators that focus on discoveries that will positively impact access to prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment for gynecologic cancers and address these now well-documented disparities. Accelerated progress in reducing gynecologic cancer mortality has been a need for some time. The Committee requests an update on NCI’s research program for gynecologic cancers in the fiscal year 2023, including specific grants and strategies where the intent is to overcome these racial disparities in gynecologic cancers outcomes, including the underrepresentation of minority women in gynecologic cancer clinical trials.


Next Steps:  Negotiations on final FY 2022 spending levels will commence, however, they will be difficult due to the objections of Senate Republicans to the spending levels determined by Senate Democrats in the recently released Senate FY 2022 spending bills. Senate Democrats have provided a 5% increase in military spending and a 13% increase for non-defense programs, which is a formula that is a non-starter for Senate Republicans who want both defense and non-defense programs increased by the same amount. Congressional Democrats and Republicans, and the Administration, have approximately six weeks to work out their differences before the current stopgap continuing resolution (CR) funding government programs expires on Dec. 3.


If agreement on FY 2022 spending levels cannot be reached by the Dec. 3 deadline, Congress will enact another CR. It will remain to be seen whether it will be a short-term CR to allow more time for negotiations or if it will extend through the remainder of FY 2022, providing current FY 2021 funding levels for all federal programs through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2022. Please watch for SGO advocacy alerts to contact Congress about final FY 2022 funding for the Ovarian Cancer Research Program.  SGO advocacy was successful in getting the House to approve this historic spending level and members must keep working to ensure that it ultimately gets across the finish line and enacted into law.