President Biden Releases Mediocre Science Budget Proposal

FY24 budget cover

Each spring, American presidents publish their proposals for the funding of the various federal departments and programs for the next fiscal year.

Because the Constitution gives Congress the responsibility of developing annual federal budgets, the president’s proposal is nothing more than a suggestion. It can also indicate to Congress and the public the priorities of a presidential administration.

President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget proposal asks for a $48.598 billion budget for the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $1.1 billion or 2.4% increase from the Congressionally-approved Fiscal Year 2023 budget. Biden’s budget request also includes an 18.6% increase for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Within the overall $1 billion increase for the NIH are increases for a limited number of NIH institutes. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) budget request, the largest increase, includes a $503 billion or 6.9% increase from the Fiscal Year 2023 NCI budget. Other institutes seeing increases in the Biden budget proposal are the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the programming with the Office of the Director. The budgets of all other Institutes and Centers at the NIH are funded at last year’s budget level.

The NSF budget request asks Congress for $11.314 billion, about an 18.6% increase from the FY2023 budget. Within the NSF budget, the big winner is the new Directorate of Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) with a 77% budget increase. That sizable increase is the need to fund many of the new programs within the CHIPS and Science bill that became law last year and created the TIPS Directorate. The BIO Directorate request is 13.5% above the FY2023 final budget. Now that President Biden has identified his priorities, Congress takes over the responsibility of crafting the final fiscal year 2024 federal budget, including the budgets for the NIH and NSF.

UPDATE: ASCB President Erika Holzbaur wrote to Congressional leaders asking Congress to properly fund basic biomedical research within the final NIH FY 2024 budget.

About the Author:

Kevin M. Wilson serves as Director of Public Policy and Media Relations for The American Society for Cell Biology. He's worked as the Legislative Director for U.S. Congressman Robert Weygand (D-RI) and as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI). He has a BA in Politics and American Government from the Catholic University of America. Email: