Minibus to Provide Relief and Research

Last week, President Trump signed into law a bipartisan minibus of “two critically important funding bills” for fiscal year 2019.  Specifically, the bills cover the financing of the Departments of Defense, the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.  Included is a $2 billion budget increase for the NIH, which is 5.4 percent raise from the 2018 fiscal year.  The funding for the BRAIN Initiative, under the 21st Century Cures Act, is now set at $429.4 million.

New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., co-chair of the Congressional Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force (along with Florida Congressman Thomas Rooney), released a statement, in which he notes that his funding requests related to brain injury had been met: “$125 million for the Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Program… as well as $6.75 million for the TBI Act programs.”  (Though the starting paragraphs of Pascrell’s press release follow party lines, the headline on his website expresses the broader view: Pascrell Highlights Budget Victories.)  Congressman Pascrell also cited the increase of brain injury research funding both for the military and the general population, which he championed.

As the Chairman of the House Appropriates Committee Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ) remarked, “[This] legislation funds critical programs that will protect and save lives both now and in the future.”

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