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Neither Side Pleased

Members of both political parties in the US are calling President Donald Trump's proposal to cut National Institutes of Health funding "misguided," the New York Times reports.

In a budget blueprint released last month, the Trump administration proposed cutting the NIH budget by $5.8 billion, or 18 percent, for fiscal year 2018. Additionally, the White House has suggested that some $1.2 billion could be trimmed from its budget this year.

"I'm extremely concerned about the potential impact of the 18 percent cut," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the chair of the House appropriations committee that oversees NIH funding, tells the Times. He adds that his "committee and certainly me, personally, will be very hesitant" to approve such a measure.

Additionally, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the senior Democrat on the committee, says such a cut would have "catastrophic results" for both patients and researchers.

Secretary Tom Price, whose department oversees NIH, has suggested that this budget decrease could be attained by limiting what the government pays to universities and research institutes as indirect costs. Institute leaders, however, say these are real costs for running research labs.

The Times notes that, as research grants are award to researchers in every state, there's "a small, well-connected army of researchers is mobilizing to beat back Mr. Trump's proposal."