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White House Proposes 12 Percent Cut to NIH Budget in Fiscal 2020

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — President Donald Trump today proposed a 12 percent decrease in funding to the National Institutes of Health as part of the White House's budget plan for fiscal 2020.

In the proposal — called A Budget for a Better America — President Trump seeks $34.37 billion for the NIH in the coming fiscal year, a figure that includes $492 million in resources made available through the 21st Century Cures Act and $150 million in mandatory funding. The NIH is funded at $39.31 billion for the current fiscal year. 

The White House budget plan calls for cuts across all NIH agencies in fiscal 2020 including the National Cancer Institute, which would see its funding fall $897 million to $5.25 billion; the National Human Genome Research Institute, which would lose $80 million in funding to $495 million; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which would be allocated roughly $4.75 billion, down $769 million; and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which would experience a $486 million funding reduction to $3.0 billion.

The White House budget also earmarks $256 million for a new National Institute for Research on Safety and Quality at the NIH to "continue key research activities currently administered by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality," while $50 million would be used to launch an initiative focused on accelerating and expanding drug discovery and clinical trials, further research pediatric cancers, and create a national data resource for pediatric cancer within the NCI. A total of $15 million would be used for the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network, which supports clinical studies for children in rural and medically underserved locations.

The US Food and Drug Administration would receive an additional $643 million in funding to $6.1 billion in fiscal 2020 under the budget blueprint, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would receive $11.95 billion versus $12.11 billion in FY2019.

President Trump's budget marks the third time he has sought to cut funding to the NIH. His first budget aimed for a 20 percent reduction in the agency's funding in fiscal 2018, and last year's sought to eliminate 27 percent of the NIH's budget for fiscal 2019. Increasing funding for the NIH has had widespread bipartisan support in Congress, however, resulting in significant annual increases in recent years.