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Trump Budget Proposes Radical Cuts to NIH, EPA and other Agencies

March 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm

This week, President Trump released his budget outline for fiscal year 2018 which proposes radical funding cuts to federal research and health programs. The budget blueprint released today does NOT provide detailed funding levels for all federal programs. The full budget proposal with more details is expected out in late April 2017. It is important to note that this budget proposal, though of serious concern, is only the beginning of the fiscal year 2018 funding and appropriations process. Annual government spending is determined by Congress. We expect that Congress will reject many of these proposed funding reductions.
The budget proposes steep funding cuts to agencies important to respiratory health, including a funding reduction of almost 20 percent to the NIH. EPA would be slashed by 31% and the State Department cut by 28 percent.
Specifically on NIH, the budget proposal states, “The budget includes a major reorganization of NIH’s institutes and centers to help focus resources on the highest priority research and training activities.” Notably, it proposes eliminating the Fogarty International Center, the NIH’s global health research and training institute. The Fogarty Center supports research on tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other global health threats and activities to build research capacity in low and middle-income countries.
In other HHS agencies, the budget proposes:
  • Reform of the CDC and creation of a $500 million block grant to increase state flexibility, signaling a potentially substantial funding cut to the agency
  • Elimination of the Agency for Health Research and Quality, which supports comparative effectiveness research, proposing to consolidate this now separate agency into NIH
  • Eliminating $403 million in HRSA health professions and nursing training programs.

 

Specifically under the EPA, the budget proposes:
  • Discontinuing funding for the clean power plan
  • Eliminating funding for international climate change programs
  • Eliminating funding for climate change research and partnership programs and “all related efforts”
  • A plan to “reorient the EPA’s air program to protect the air we breathe without unduly burdening the American economy.”
  • Cuts the EPA Office of Research and Development by nearly 45 percent.

 

Again, it is expected that some of these funding cuts will not survive the appropriations process in Congress. NIH enjoys broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and so while the proposed cut to the agency is of deep concern, we do not expect Congress to enact a reduction of this magnitude. We urge ATS members to contact their members of Congress now (see below action alert) in opposition to these proposed funding cuts and we will continue to reach out to members throughout the year.

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