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Rebuffing Trump’s Call for Cuts, Congress Boosts NIH Funding by $2 Billion

Washington, DC, May 1, 2017 — Lev Facher reports in STAT that the National Institutes of Health will get a $2 billion funding boost over the next five months, under a bipartisan spending deal reached late Sunday night in Congress.

The agreement marks a sharp rejection of President Trump’s proposal to cut $1.2 billion from the medical research agency in the current fiscal year.

The deal does not address funding for 2018, when Trump has called for a slashing the NIH’s budget by about a fifth, or $5.8 billion.

Facher reports that the move sends a clear signal that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle prioritize funding for medical research and intend to honor the agreements laid out in the 21st Century Cures Act.

That bipartisan bill, which was signed into law by President Obama last December, called for raising NIH funding and speeding approvals of new drugs and medical devices.

This will be the second year running that Congress gives a $2 billion funding bump to the agency, which funds medical research across the country.

The roughly $1 trillion spending agreement, which funds the government through the end of September, also more than quadruples funds to fight opioid addiction.

That money — about $800 million total, up from $150 million in the last budget — will be divided among opioid addiction programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

To read Facher’s full STAT story, click here.

Follow Facher on Twitter @levfacher.

Follow STAT — which reports from the frontiers of medical innovation and science — on Twitter @statnews.