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Budget Plan Includes NIH Increase

Under an agreement reached last night to keep the US government funded and functioning, lawmakers have called for a $2 billion increase to the National Institutes of Health budget, as GenomeWeb has reported.

The US federal government had been facing a shutdown if a budget agreement had not been reached, the New York Times notes. This new plan, if passed, would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September.

The $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations legislation includes $34.1 billion in NIH funding, and comes on the heels of President Donald Trump calling for cuts to the NIH budget. In March, the Trump administration called for a 20 percent cut to the NIH budget for 2018, and further suggested that $1.2 billion could be cut from it this year.

"The omnibus is in sharp contrast to President Trump's dangerous plans to steal billions from lifesaving medical research," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says in a statement.

The new bill also includes a $39 million boost for the Food and Drug Administration and a $22 million increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also, Stat News notes, signals that lawmakers intend to uphold provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan bill passed in December that aims to fund NIH programs like the Cancer Moonshot and the Precision Medicine Initiative, speed up the drug approval process at FDA, and more.

The new budget agreement, which still needs to be voted on by lawmakers, doesn't, however, extend to fiscal year 2018.