Legislation introduced this week would make the US National Institutes of Health funding a non-discretionary program, The Hill's Floor Action blog reports.
This bill, introduced by Reps. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), would make the agency's funding no longer subject to the yearly congressional budget process, much like funding for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is, the Floor Action blog says. Castor and Butterfield also say that it would protect NIH funding from spending cuts and shutdown threats.
"Today, funding for medical research is discretionary and at the mercy of the budget battles in Congress," Castor adds. "This harms momentum towards cures and creates economic uncertainty."