Lawmakers from both parties in the US are "bragging" about rejecting President Donald Trump's plan to sharply cut the National Institutes of Health's funding, the New York Times reports.
In March, Trump called for a nearly 20 percent cut to the NIH budget for fiscal year 2018. The administration later said that some of the cuts could come from overhead payments the agency makes to universities and research institutes to cover the administrative and other costs of running research labs.
But both houses of Congress have rejected those proposed cuts, the Times reports. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill last week that would give NIH $36.1 billion for the next fiscal year, while the House Appropriations Committee approved $35.2 billion. While lower than what the Senate approved, it would still be a $1.1 billion increase for the agency, the Times notes. Lawmakers also rejected the plan to cut overhead payments, it adds.
"The spectacular increase provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee is amazing in the current fiscal environment," Anthony Mazzaschi, a lobbyist at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, tells the Times. "Neither the Senate nor the House paid much attention to the president's recommendations."