The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) strongly opposes the proposed $5.8 billion (nearly 20 percent) reduction in federal funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in President Trump’s budget blueprint for fiscal year (FY) 2018. FASEB calls on Congress to ensure that this budget proposal is not enacted into law.
“The proposed cut to NIH is, quite simply, a travesty because it threatens the life of every American, harms our economy, and abdicates the United States’ role as a world leader in research,” said FASEB President Hudson Freeze, PhD. “Advances in biomedical and biological research have improved the health of our citizens, generated new treatments for life-threatening diseases, and enhanced our quality of life. Opportunities for additional progress are enormous and at our doorstep, but that promising future success requires sustained and predictable growth in the federal investment in the nation’s research enterprise. The proposed reduction in research funding is unconscionable and endangers the national security of our country,” Freeze said.
Reducing the NIH budget to $25.9 billion as proposed by the Administration would reduce the agency budget below the 2003 level. A cut of this magnitude also far exceeds the sequestration cuts NIH absorbed in 2013. The proposal also contradicts the intent of the bipartisan $2 billion increase Congress provided to NIH in FY 2016 and a similar amount approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last summer.
Discoveries made by federally supported researchers working in universities, hospitals, national labs, academic health centers, and other research institutions provide the foundation for medical advances. These breakthroughs contribute to the development of new therapies, the commercialization of products and technologies, and the creation of high-paying jobs in biotechnology and other sectors. Those contributions will not happen without robust federal investment in NIH.
FASEB looks forward to working with Congress on a budget that supports funding for research and recognizes the important contributions of our nation’s scientists.