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Just Talk?

Future threats made by President Donald Trump to eviscerate the National Institutes of Health budget "shouldn't be taken too seriously," a columnist writes at Bloomberg Gadfly.

In March, the Trump Administration called for a 20 percent reduction to the NIH budget for fiscal year 2018 and further said that $1.2 billion could be trimmed from it this year. But Congressional lawmakers have instead opted to give NIH a $2 billion boost in their current budget bill for 2017.

To Max Nisen at Bloomberg Gadfly, this suggests that NIH might be "Trump-proof" as members of Congress appear loath to make cuts to biomedical spending. "Congress has little interest in harming the NIH, which has already suffered through a pretty rough few years due to budget cuts and sequestration," he notes.

And that, he adds, is good news for firms like Illumina and Thermo Fisher Scientific that develop biomedical research tools as well as for pharmaceutical companies that build on more basic research.

When the current fiscal year ends in September, Nisen says the Trump Administration may again call for cuts to the NIH budget. "But such concerns should quickly be put to bed," he adds.