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    Congress says 'no' to Trump NIH budget cuts

    Concern remains over possible funding reduction in 2018

    Bob GattyBob GattyThe fiscal 2017 appropriations wrap-up package approved by Congress in early May included a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, despite a Trump administration request for a $1.2 billion reduction for the nation’s primary medical research facility.

    That bipartisan action, which funds the federal government through September, came in the face of President Trump’s demand to slash spending for domestic programs to pay for a huge increase in appropriations for defense.

    Nevertheless, Republican appropriators in Congress were not swayed by the administration’s demand and thus replicated last year’s $2 billion increase for NIH. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee responsible for NIH, said he was proud of the fact that Congress doubled the NIH budget from 1998 to 2003 and increased it again in the 21st Century Cures Act, passed last year with broad bipartisan support.

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    Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, warned that Trump’s proposed NIH cuts would have “catastrophic results” for patients and researchers.

    Urologist applauds Congress

    Congress’ refusal to accede to the White House NIH budget reduction for FY 2017 was applauded by one of the nation’s leaders in urologic research, Neal Shore, MD, current president of LUGPA.

    “As a physician, president of LUGPA, secretary-treasurer of the Society of Urologic Oncology Clinical Trials Consortium, and as an educator who has run many advanced prostate cancer programs for the American Urological Association, it would be a huge mistake on the part of the federal government to diminish research funding in both the National Cancer Institute and NIH,” Dr. Shore, who is also medical director of the Carolina Urologic Research Center, told Urology Times.

    Next: Dr. Shore's concern over possible cuts in 2018

    Bob Gatty
    Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.

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