As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on July 30, 2014
H.R. 4701 would amend the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct or support research of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) currently administers research programs related to such diseases. The authority for discretionary research programs at the NIH expired at the end of fiscal year 2009. For each year from 2010 through 2014, however, the Congress appropriated funds for the NIH to continue operating its discretionary programs across all areas of research.
The bill also would require that the Secretary of HHS (in its biennial reports to the Congress) describe actions taken by NIH to support research of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases and report on the progress toward improving the outcomes of such diseases. In addition, the bill would require the Secretary to establish a permanent interagency working group on Lyme and tick-borne diseases and to periodically submit to the Congress a strategic plan for the conduct and support of tick-borne disease research.
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4701 would cost $338 million over the 2015-2019 period, assuming appropriation of amounts similar to appropriations provided in recent years for NIH activities related to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.
H.R. 4701 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.