Trump Administration Budget Blueprint’s Proposed $5.8 Billion NIH Cut

President Issues FY2018 Budget Blueprint

Legislative Update
March 16, 2017

Today, President Trump issued a preliminary Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget blueprint entitled America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again which has been posted on the White House Web site. As is customary in the first year of a new Administration, the blueprint outlines only a brief overview of the proposal, with details on the full budget not expected until May.

Information on proposals within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is included on pages 21 and 22 of the document, with the text relating to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) therein reading as follows:

“Reduces the NIH spending relative to the 2017 annualized CR level by $5.8 billion to $25.9 billion. The Budget includes a major reorganization of NIH’s Institutes and Centers to help focus resources on the highest priority research and training activities, including: eliminating the Fogarty International Center; consolidating the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within NIH; and other consolidations and structural changes across NIH organizations and activities. The Budget also reduces administrative costs and rebalance Federal contributions to research funding.”

In response to the budget blueprint, NAEVR is supporting the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research’s statement of concern that the nearly 20 percent cut below current levels would drastically slow progress on research to find treatments and cures for patients nationwide. NAEVR has requested a $2 billion NIH funding increase in FY2018, which includes a request for National Eye Institute (NEI) funding at $800 million.

As is often stated, “The President proposes, the Congress disposes,” meaning that that the Congress—especially the Committees that deal with appropriating funds and authorizing program—will have the final say on the FY2018 budget.