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U.S. Congress Defies Trump, Boosts NIH Budget
In a rebuke to President Trump, the U.S. Congress will significantly increase the budget of the National Institutes of Health.
When Trump released the first draft of his budget proposal in March, he sought to cut the NIH budget by 22 percent ($7.5 billion) to $26.6 billion in order to free up more money for defense and border security, The New York Times reported.
But last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bipartisan bill providing $36.1 billion for the NIH in the fiscal year that starts next month, a $2 billion increase. The House Appropriations Committee approved a $1.1 billion increase for the NIH.
Lawmakers said the final figure is likely to be close to the higher amount in the Senate bill, The Times reported.
Trump’s budget proposal “would have crippled American innovation in medical research, delayed new cures and treatments and brought NIH funding to its lowest level since 2002,” according to Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat.
“The spectacular increase provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee is amazing in the current fiscal environment,” Anthony Mazzaschi, a lobbyist at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, told The Times.
“Neither the Senate nor the House paid much attention to the president’s recommendations,” he added.
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