White House Proposes FY17 Cuts To NIH, PEPFAR In Near-Term Spending Bill; Congress Members Show Little Support

Bloomberg: White House Proposes Large Cuts to NIH Research This Year
“President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed cutting $1.23 billion this fiscal year from research funded by the National Institutes of Health, according to a White House document sent to congressional appropriators. The reduction is part of $18 billion in cuts that the administration wants in fiscal 2017, which ends in October. … A worldwide initiative to help people with HIV and AIDS, known as PEPFAR and heavily focused on patient treatment in Africa, would be slashed by almost $300 million under the plan. The savings would be found by slowing the rate of new patients put on treatment and reducing support to ‘low-performing countries’…” (Edney, 3/28).

The Hill: White House wants to slash billions from grants, foreign aid
“…Congress failed to pass a budget last year and funded the government through April 28 through a continuing resolution. The White House Office of Management and Budget is proposing billions in cuts to programs that make up a small portion of federal spending but are prized by lawmakers from both parties, according to the document. Funding levels are ultimately set by Congress, not the president, and White House spending proposals are routinely ignored by lawmakers. Many of the proposed cuts are unlikely to end up in legislation and mirror similar cuts in Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal, already panned by Congress…” (Lane, 3/28).

STAT: White House proposes new, sweeping budget cuts at NIH
“…In a statement, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology harshly criticized the proposed cuts, saying the administration was ‘throwing progress out the window.’ ‘The president continues to put the health and well-being of Americans in danger to move forward a so-called “hard power budget,” even while leaders from his own party view investments in biomedical research as critical to the nation’s security,’ the group said…” (Scott/Kaplan, 3/28).

Washington Post: Trump wants to add wall spending to stopgap budget bill, potentially forcing shutdown showdown
“…Trump’s request, outlined in conversations with White House officials and in a memo from budget director Mick Mulvaney, calls for … new defense and border spending — and $18 billion in cuts to other priorities, such as medical research and jobs programs. But it appeared that few on the Hill shared the White House’s appetite to flirt with a government shutdown over the border wall, which Democrats have pledged to oppose and which even some conservative Republicans object to on fiscal grounds. … Many of the cuts would be aimed at key priorities for Democrats, such as money for global reproductive health education, but they also take aim at more broadly popular agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the Federal Emergency Management Agency…” (Snell et al., 3/28).

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