ASCO states President Trump's budget will devastate U.S. research enterprise

Trump Budget Is Bad News For Houston Medical Institutions

The proposal would take a $5.8 billion bite out of current funding for the National Institutes of Health, an 18 percent decrease from the annualized 2017 continuing resolution level of nearly $32 billion. The NIH had a FY 2016 budget of $32 billion, and in the yet nonfinalized FY 2017 budget the agency would receive $34 billion.

That legislation authorizes $4.8 billion in new funding for NIH.

Based in Bethesda, Md., the NIH spends most of its annual budget - about 85 percent - on grants to thousands of researchers and medical institutions across the country. Trump's $5.8 billion reduction is roughly equivalent to what NIH spent a year ago to reimburse universities for the so-called indirect costs of research, which include overhead items like utility bills and the staff needed to comply with federal research regulations. So those cuts will cost Wisconsin almost 2,000 jobs and $220 million to $260 million annually.

The proposed cuts "represent a major step backward for American scientific research and innovation", University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce said in a statement. But the size of the proposed cut stunned and angered many.

The $70 million Fogarty International Center, which primarily focuses on global health, supporting research work on the same, and training researchers to work in the developing countries, will be completely eradicated.

Trump's proposal would roll back NIH's 2018 budget to about what it was in 2003. "Therefore, if you cut it by $6 billion it means next year there will be no grants". "Those who have already completed their Ph.D.s and are trying to get their first research grants may look overseas".

Cuts to federal research programs in the White House budget blueprint went well beyond the NIH.

Drops in deaths from cancer and heart disease, breakthroughs in genetics, and new ways to treat and prevent HIV and other infectious diseases all are credited to decades of NIH-funded basic research. U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) echoed that sentiment in his own statement: "I am disappointed that numerous reductions and eliminations proposed in the President's skinny budget are Draconian, careless, and counterproductive".

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"It is possible that the next cure for some cancer is sitting there waiting to be discovered, and it won't get to the table", said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. "If these trends continue, the USA risks creating an innovation deficit and losing its status as the global innovation leader".

Trump's budget slashed several agencies' budget to fund a bump for defense funding and money for veteran's affairs.

"We don't know if that's going to be taken from specific directorates or across the board", Naus said.

More immediate are concerns over areas like the Department of Energy's Office of Science, which would lose $900 million of its $5 billion budget.

"By undermining these surveys, you're undermining the quality and credibility of the data", remarked Naus. The Office of Science supports research at 300 universities as well as national labs.

Ryan said Sunday he's encouraged that the president's budget proposes an increase in defense, but noted it is early in the budget process.

A national leader in personalized medicine and in pulmonary and critical care medicine, Marsh has concentrated his efforts in determining how to help individuals stay healthy and how to create ecosystems to make this easy. And Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, last week identified national laboratories supported by the Energy Department and the National Institutes of Health as two of his priorities as a member of the appropriations committee. That gives science organizations multiple opportunities to make clear why the work of research is so important.

The question now is how closely congressional Republicans will conform to the president's proposal as they craft their own budgets, and how strongly the president's staff will push for this particular cut.

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