NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – In its budget plan for 2011, the White House today said it will seek a $1 billion, or a 3.2 percent, increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health, even though the overall budget for the fiscal year plans a freeze on non-military discretionary spending as part of an effort to reign in the federal deficit.
"I think in this restrained budget the investment of $1 billion shows that the president sees research as a priority," Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press conference outlining her department's budget today.
President Obama's NIH budget would rise in 2011 to $32.9 billion from this year's budget of $31.9 billion.
The budget statement on HHS funding highlighted genomics-based studies at NIH and pointed to other plans to initiate 30 new drug trials in 2011 and to double the number of novel compounds in clinical trials by 2016.
The budget specifically points out support for The Cancer Genome Atlas project, which is "a comprehensive catalog of cancer mutations for the 20 most common malignancies setting the stage for complete genomic characterization of every cancer within 10 years," according to the White House.
"We're not putting forward an across-the-board freeze, but rather an overall cap on non-security discretionary funding in which key investments are expanded but we cut back on programs that are ineffective, duplicative, or just wasteful," Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag explained in a statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not see the increase of NIH, and saw its proposed budget cut from $6.5 billion to $6.3 billion.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science saw an increase in proposed funding, from $4.9 billion in 2010 to $5.1 billion, including $220 million for biofuels and biomass research.
The White House also has proposed $7.4 billion for the National Science Foundation, an increase of around 8 percent over the $6.9 billion for 2010.
The 2011 budget proposal, "clearly indicates that research is a high priority, and we are gratified that the value of science has been affirmed," said Mark Lively, president of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology.