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Another Year, Another Proposal Calling for Science Budget Cuts

The Trump Administration's budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 includes a 12 percent cut to National Institutes of Health funding, as GenomeWeb has reported.

In all, the proposal, called A Budget for a Better America, asks for $34.37 billion in funding for NIH, down from $39.1 billion for the current fiscal year. In particular, the new budget proposal would cut National Cancer Institute funding by $897 million, National Human Genome Research Institute funding by $80 million, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funding by $486 million.

In a statement, the American Society for Human Genetics' Lynn Jorde says "the NIH is essential for progress in genetics and genomics," and these cuts would "slow the pace of research" as well as make science less attractive to younger researchers.

The Trump Administration likewise called for cuts to the NIH budget for fiscal years 2019 and 2018, though Congress pushed back on those requests.

Additionally, the proposed budget calls for a $643 million boost to the Food and Drug Administration budget, and a $160 million dip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget, according to GW. The Los Angeles Times adds that the National Science Foundation would also see a 13 percent budget cut.

These proposed cuts have drawn criticism from science advocates. "If enacted, the Trump administration's proposed cuts to the fiscal year 2020 non-defense discretionary budget would derail our nation's science enterprise," Rush Holt, the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says in a statement.

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), the chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, calls the budget proposal "absurd" and says it "shows a complete disregard for the importance of civilian R&D and science and technology programs."