May 3, 2023

SWHR Response to House’s Passage of the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023

On Wednesday, April 26, the U.S. House of Representatives—in a party line vote of 217-215—passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023. The legislation would suspend the debt limit until March 31, 2024, or until the debt reaches $1.5 trillion—whichever comes first. In addition, the bill would return total discretionary spending (the money approved by Congress and the President during the federal appropriations process) to the fiscal year 2022 level in fiscal year 2024 (amounting to more than $130 billion in cuts) and cap annual growth at 1 percent from fiscal year 2025 through fiscal year 2033.

These cuts could have serious implications for non-defense discretionary funding – and namely to health care and health research funding. Specifically, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), these cuts would result in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) being able to support an estimated 5,000 fewer grants and at least 2 million Americans being cut off from Health Center programs. With many non-defense discretionary programs still feeling the effects of the 2011 Budget Control Act, as was noted in this piece from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the effects of these cuts would greatly hamper our nation’s ability to meet the needs of the American people and equip federal agencies with the resources they need to fulfill their respective missions.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is deeply concerned about what these cuts could mean for federal research and women’s health. SWHR signed onto a letter from NDD United opposing this legislation and issued the following statement in response to its passage:

The Society for Women’s Health Research is troubled by the action of some in Congress to make drastic funding cuts to our nation’s non-defense discretionary programs. This move is penny wise and pound foolish, depriving our nation of critical investments in areas like public health and health research, at a time when we need them most.

The past three years have demonstrated the value of research and what strides can be made when it is prioritized. Health research makes our country safer. It helps to ensure the overall health and well-being of the American people, prepares us for future pandemics and public health threats, allows the U.S. scientific enterprise to keep pace with other nations, and accelerates medical progress that can lead to greater understanding of disease and ultimately, to cures.

SWHR urges Congress and the administration to work in a bipartisan manner to address the debt limit through an approach that preserves our nation’s public health programs and services and does not sacrifice potentially life-altering research.

To read more about what’s in the debt limit bill, click here. Find the text of the legislation here.

For questions, please contact SWHR Chief Advocacy Officer Lindsey Horan.