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The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

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Medical Research, Science Funding Spared Under Budget Deal — But More Battles Ahead

Washington, DC, May 2, 2017 —Joel Achenbach, Ben Guarino, Sarah Kaplan and Darryl Fears report in The Washington Post that the lights will stay on in the federal government, and also in the countless laboratories and universities that depend on federal funding for scientific and medical research.

That’s one upshot of the bipartisan budget deal congressional negotiators reached late Sunday.

The bill, clocking in at more than 1,600 pages, is likely to pass both houses of Congress and be signed into law by President Trump this week.  It covers funding through September.

This is welcome news for the research community, which had been shocked and dismayed by Trump’s March 16 budget blueprint for fiscal 2018.

What’s unclear is whether the 2017 budget deal represents a full-throated repudiation of Trump’s goals, or is just an act of political expediency — a rare bipartisan compromise designed to avoid an imminent government shutdown.

Trump’s “skinny budget” for 2018 calls for massive cuts to the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

A more detailed 2018 budget from Trump’s Office of Management and Budget is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

But in the meantime, Congress hadn’t even passed a 2017 budget — something it was supposed to do last year.

The government has been operating on temporary spending measures based on the 2016 budget.

The administration in late March sent to the Hill some suggestions for reductions to the fiscal 2017 budget.

Science and medical research, however, have long received bipartisan support, and that political reality has not changed under the Trump administration.

The new budget deal calls for an additional $2 billion for NIH, including $300 million for the cancer “moonshot” initiative — the 21st Century Cures Act — championed by former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The budget deal also includes $175 million more for the National Cancer Institute.

The new bill includes a small cut to the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Fully funded, however, are programs designed to prepare for pandemics or bioterrorism attacks.  The CDC will have $35 million in emergency funding to deal with the lead crisis in Flint, Mich.  The effort to combat the Zika virus will be allotted $394 million.

To read the full story, click here.