Today, President Trump released a “skinny” budget request for fiscal year 2018. This budget proposes an unprecedented $5.8 billion or 20% cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also requests a major reorganization of NIH’s Institutes and Centers. AADR and FNIDCR issued a statement today opposing the budget and urged Congress to reject this proposal.
According to the text provided in the budget blueprint, the President’s 2018 Budget:
“Reduces the National Institutes of Health’s (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 rebalances Federal contributions to research funding.”
Additionally, the budget proposes to eliminate $403 million in health professions and nursing training programs. It also proposes to “reform” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a new $500 million block grant to increase State flexibility and focus on health challenges specific to each state.
At this time, the budget does not provide additional information about the reorganization plan for NIH and what specific programs are eliminated at HRSA or CDC. This information will be made available when a more detailed budget is expected to be released in May, 2017.
It is important to keep in mind that the President’s budget is a document that outlines the administration’s funding priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and Congress has the authority to approve, reject or modify the recommendations included in the budget.
What’s Next? AADR and FNIDCR will continue to advocate that Congress provide predictable, sustained and increased funding for NIH, NIDCR and other oral health programs in the upcoming year.
What can you do? Now more than ever you must make your voice heard. While it is unlikely that cuts of this magnitude will become enacted, however if Congress doesn’t hear from dental, oral and craniofacial researchers it will put NIDCR in a precarious position. Please click here to send an email to your member of Congress. Also, invite your member of Congress to tour your laboratory. Congress is less likely to cut funding for programs and research when they better understand its value.
Questions Please email any questions or concerns to the AADR Director of Government Affairs Carolyn Mullen at firstname.lastname@example.org